Zakynthos Monastery of Anafonitria

Location: Anafonitria

The Monastery of Panagia Anafonitria on Zakynthos, Ionian: The Holy Monastery of Theotokos (Panagia) Anafonitria, dedicated to Virgin Mary, is a Byzantine monument with interesting architecture. It was founded in the middle of the 15th century, during the Venetian occupation of the island. In this monastery, Agios Dionysios, the protector saint of Zakynthos, became a monk and lived the last years of his life in the 16th century.

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The Monastery was built in the middle of the 15th century in honor of Panagia Vrefokratoussa (Virgin Holder of the Newborn) but took its name after the miraculous icon of Our Virgin Anafonitria it is housing. This icon was brought to the monastery from Constantinople when the town was captured by the Turks.

Several buildings are forming this monastery, as well as a tower that was built for defensive reasons and is used today as a belfry. The entrance to the monastery is arched and guarded by a square-shaped defensive tower. The main church of the monastery is situated in the center of the complex and it is a three-aisled basilica. The frescoes of the church are impressive and date from five centuries ago. The Monastery of Theotokos Anafonitria is situated 25 km away from Zakynthos Town, close to Volimes.

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