Poros Monastery of Zoodohos Pigi

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Location: Monastiri

In a verdant area 4 km east of the main city of Poros, lies the Holy Monastery of Zoodochos Pigi (the life-giving spring). This old convent is an integral part of the history of Poros and preserves a rich heritage within its walls. The Archbishop of Athens, Iakovos the Second, founded the monastery in 1720, after experiencing a miracle; he was suffering from a serious disease that was cured when he drank some Holy Water from a spring near the site.

Moreover, it was invaluable during the Greek War of Independence in 1821. Not only did it offer spiritual assistance to the freedom fighters, but also financial and other support. The first orphanage, as well as the first Ecclesiastical School in independent Greece, was founded within the confines of this very Monastery by Ioannis Kapodistrias.

The orphanage was built specially for the children of the men who fought in the Greek Revolution. Valuable articles such as the Holy Relic of Saint John the Baptist were also kept at the monastery. Saint Nektarios, who lived in the 20th century, stayed here for a few months along with other ascetic people, adding to the sanctity of the place.

The katholikon, the main church, is a basilica with a dome and a bell tower. The tombs of two great admirals who fought in the War of Independence, Emmanouil Tombazis from Hydra and Nikolaos Apostolis from Psara, have been placed on either side of the vestibule. The church boasts an exquisite 5-meter-high altarpiece, curved on lime wood and plated with gold, which was probably crafted in Asia Minor. Its height and inclination contribute to the excellent acoustics of the temple. Zoodochos Pigi also houses several impressive icons painted between the 16th and the 19th centuries, one of them by the Italian painter and doctor Raffaello Ceccoli, whose daughter was hosted here before finally dying of tuberculosis.



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