Churches in Kalavryta
Kalavryta is a rather popular little town with its historical sights and religious treasures that are highly appreciated by thousands of faithful from different parts of the world. Visitors can see old churches and inspiring monasteries standing proudly on top of the hills and enjoy the breathtaking views of the imposing mountains.
The remarkable Monastery of Agia Lavra is perched on top of a picturesque cliff covered with pine trees offering a view to the entire valley. It was founded in the 10th century by a hermit but it was completely destroyed from the Turks in 1585 and again in 1827 and one century later from the Germans. The church within the monastery contains many artifacts and icons.
The Holy Monastery of Mega Spileo offers a spiritual oasis for the thousands of pilgrims. It is the oldest Greek Orthodox monastery sitting on the side of a steep hill, in the shadow of a huge rock. Two monks found the miraculous icon of the Virgin inside the cave and began the construction of the monastery in 362 AD. Throughout the centuries numerous attacks were made against the glorious monument but the icon remained intact. It hosts a museum with a rich collection of icons and other religious treasures.
Far from the main town, on top of Lapanagi village rises the Monastery of Panagia Makelaria, at the exact spot where the icon of the Virgin was found. At the center of the monastery is a Byzantine chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary hosting authentic art pieces. In a beautiful lush green area and spring waters lies the tiny chapel of Panagia Plataniotissa (the lady from the plane tree) inside the hollow of a huge plane tree, a unique natural phenomenon created when three plane trees sprung out close to each other. The icon of the Virgin is depicted in one of the tree's barks.
Among the dozens of churches found in the entire town of Kalavryta, at the center of lies the Cathedral Church dedicated to the Annunciation of the Virgin. It is worth notice that clock that stands on the left of the church is stopped at the time of the massacre.
The Holy Monastery of Mega Spileo is the oldest Greek Orthodox monastery. It was constructed around 326 A.D on the side of a steep hill, which is about 120 meters high. Its cells are built around the entrance of the cave. An icon of Virgin Mary was found deep inside the cave by a shepherd girl. Believed to be made by Apostle Luke, the icon has miraculously managed to survive four fires.
At a distance of 3 km from Kalavryta, the Monastery of Agia Lavra has historical importance for Greece, as this is where the Greek Revolution was first declared in March 25th, 1821. The monastery hosts small chapels and a lovely ecclesiastical museum.
At a distance of about 30 km from Kalavryta, the Monastery of Panagia Makelaria was built in the 6th century by the Byzantine general Velissarius Justinian. The Monastery is constructed on top of a hill and it is surrounded by wild landscape.