Monasteries to Visit in Lesvos, Greece
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There are a lot of things to do when you visit a gorgeous Greek island. On the island of Lesvos, you can spend time at the beach, enjoy the cuisine, and see some of the top sites. It is also home to monasteries and churches that visitors to the the beautiful Greek island will want to see. Here’s some information about this:
Monastery of Limonos
The Monastery of Limonos is the largest monastery on the island of Lesvos. It is located 4 km northwest of Kalloni Village. The Monastery of Limonos was established during the Byzantine times and was in operation until the Ottomans conquered Lesvos in 1462. Around 1526, the monastery was re-established and a main church was built. A school was also built and was in operation until 1923. The Monastery of Limonos is home to a library that houses 5,000 books, some of which date from the 15th century all the way to present day. There are rare manuscripts, holy icons, ecclesiastical items, and more.
Glykfylousa Panagia Church
Glykfylousa Panagia, or Our Lady of the Sweet Kiss, Church is located on a large rock in the center of the town of Petra. The top of the rock can be reached by climbing 114 steps that are carved into the stone. From Glykfylousa Panagia Church you will have a wonderful view of the town of Petra, the sea, and the surrounding countryside. In fact, the view extends to the coast of Asia Minor. The first church was built in 1609 and the one that stands there today was built in 1747. Below the rock is a small church called Agios Nikolaos. Inside this little church you can admire 16th century wall paintings.
Agios Raphael Monastery
Agios Raphael Monastery is located close to the village of Thermi, 15 km from Mytilene Town. This monastery is an important place of pilgrimage on the island of Lesvos. The monastery is close to the spot where monk Raphael is thought to have suffered by the Turks during the 15th century in an attempt to make him deny his Christian faith and become a Muslim. During the start of the 20th century, residents of Thermi began seeing the specter of a monk carrying a censer on a hill above the village.
These visions would also appear in another small chapel where Easter Tuesday was celebrated. During work at a small church of Agios Raphael Monastery in 1959, workers found a grave that contained a human skeleton and smelled of a sweet fragrance. Also found were Byzantine-era ceramic tile and ecclesiastical marbles. Other excavations uncovered the graves of martyrs as well as holy relics. The Agios Raphael Monastery that stands today was built in 1963 on the ruins of older monasteries. The skull of Agios Raphael is kept at the monastery.
Ypsilou Monastery was built in 1101 on the crater of a dormant volcano. From this monastery you will have an impressive view of the coast of Asia Minor and the western side of the island of Lesvos. Photography is not allowed at this monastery, but it is still an attraction you won’t want to pass by. Inside, there are bible covers from 1588 and gold embroidered stoles. You can visit the nearby petrified forest when you’re in the area.
Lesvos has no shortage of things to do. You should consider visiting at least one of these monasteries while on the island, though!
This post was written by Greek Boston