Monastery Of Agnountos
Location: Nea Epidaurus
The monastery of Agnountos in Epidaurus: The Monastery of Agnountos is a beautiful monument of Byzantine Art and local architecture, which evokes admiration to its visitors and its researchers. Built on the slope of a mountain, 7 kilometers away from Epidaurus, the monastery greets visitors with beautiful olive groves, rocky hills and mountains covered with green forests.
An old fable states that travelers saw a dim light on a neighbour mountain. The travelers, following the light, reached there to find a buried icon of the Virgin Mary. Thus, they built a monastery near the place to commemorate this event. The name of the Monastery probably originates from the Greek word agnantevo, which means to gaze. It is believed that it was built during the 11th Century and it is regarded as a symbol of Christianity.
Although there are no evidence for its construction date, some graffiti made by monks have been found, dating back to 1029 A.C. The region of Peloponnese has been susceptible to various invaders including the Turks and pirates, no wonder that the monastery is built with strong and high walls. There are many towers and hiding places for adequate protection.
The monastery has a church that rises at the centre of the yard, which is made entirely of stone with a unique architecture. There are 8 pillars that support the structure, 4 to each sidewall, that face each other and curve at the top. Spherical domes are formed above these pillars, while arcs and domes support the main octagonal dome. The church is very symmetric along all aspects of its construction.
The church's interiors are covered with beautiful wall paintings dating back to 1250. The iconostasis is wood-carved, of the most brilliant and popular art of that period. The beautiful golden-scarlet coloring has carved pictures of leaves, birds, fruits, and even branches. The engraved inscription informs about its creation in the year 1713.