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Aigina, one of the most charming islands of the Saronic is home to a fine collection of monasteries and churches that reflect the ancient history of the island with many myths about the saints. Religious festivals are organized throughout the year, but the most important takes place on the feast day of Agios Nektarios, on November 9th.
The monastery of Agios Nektarios stands on a hill, in the medieval village of Paleochora, 6 km from the main town. It was named after its founder, the monk Nektarios who lived in the monastery until his death in 1920. As for today, the active female monastery is visited by thousands of faithful every year and includes many chapels and buildings.
Panagia Hrysoleondissa is a beautiful convent sitting on the hills of Aegina. Away from the crowds, surrounded by strong walls, the whole complex looks like a fortress. It was actually built on the 17th century by two monks and consists of cells, many rooms, a beautiful courtyard in the middle of which stands a Byzantine church. Today it is accessible by a footpath that begins from Agios Nektarios. It is worth visiting for its breathtaking mountainous setting.
At a 15-minutes walk from the port of Aigina, you can reach the impressive underground church of Panagia Faneromeni, one of the most unique pilgrimages of the island that houses the miraculous icon of the Virgin. According to a legend, the building that was to be erected right on top of the church remained unfinished due to a vision that the architect saw telling him that he had to dig instead of building. The next day that he began working underground he found the beautiful icon.
A significant religious monument in Aegina is the known Omorfi Ekklisia (beautiful church) a small 13th-century chapel dedicated to Agioi Theodoroi. It is located close to the town and houses superb frescoes. It coexists harmonically with the enchanting environment and is kept locked most of the days. In the area of Ancient Aphaia, on a salient location, amidst the pine-tree forest visitors will see the female monastery of Agios Minas. It is a shelter for many faithful who seek for personal spirituality and peace. The beautifully built church of Agios Nikolaos, the Metropolis of Aegina can be seen from the port along with some other whitewashed chapels that stand on the seafront promenade.
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