Monasteries to Visit in Nafpaktos, Greece

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Monasteries have played an important role in Nafpaktos, Greece for a long time. They have served as homes for monks, offered guidance to residents, and helped people both local and passing by. They have also served as meeting points for residents. Here are some of the monasteries you can visit when in Nafpaktos, Greece.

Monastery of Panagia Ambelakiotissa

The Monastery of Panagia Ambelakiotissa is a male monastery that was built around 1456 AD. The monastery is considered the Ark of Nafpaktos as it houses many priceless heirlooms including the right hand of St. Polykarpos, the epitaph of Mariora, and the icon of the Virgin Mary to name a few. The Monastery of Panagia Ambelakiotissa in Nafpaktos, Greece is an active all-male monastery. There is an impressive wooden sculpture temple altar that was built in 1748 by a local artist by the name of Athanasio.

Monastery of Varnakova

The Monastery of Varnakova is a historical monastery that was built in 1077 by Saint Arsenios Varkakovitis. It is one of the oldest monasteries in Greece. The monastery is located just east of Nafpaktos on the road to Lidorikos on a small hill in the middle of a forest of oak trees and wild chesnuts. The main church of the Monastery of Varnakova is basilica style with a cupola and floors that are made from marble. The monastery was helped financially by the Comneni emperors of Byzantium.In 1826, the Monastery of Varnakova was partly destroyed by the Turks. It would be renovated in 1831 by the first governor of Greece Ioannis Kappodistrias.

Monastery of St. John the Forerunner

The Monastery of St. John the Forerunner is also known as Vomvokous. The monastery was established in Nafpaktos during Turkish rule, but possible before. When visiting this monastery you will immediately notice the impressive architecture, paintings, and sculptures. The monastery was destroyed in 1833 by order of King Othona and rebuilt in 1965 according to a plaque that was found. Nuns now run and take care of the Monastery of St. John the Forerunner.

Monastery of Panagia Gorgoepikoou

The Monastery of Panagia Gorgoepikoou is located just after Ska Gorge at Dendro in Nafpaktos. The monastery was founded in 1951 by Archimandrite Arsenios Koubougias. It is a true hermitage that serves to offer important religious and social work. Nuns run services at the Monastery of Panagia Gorgoepikoou. While in the area, visit Ska Gorge. Ska is a torrent that runs through the mountains of Kato Nafpaktia.

Transfiguration of Christ Church

Transfiguration of Christ Church is part of the monastery complex in the modern monasterial community that is located on the eastern side of Skala. The monastery was built in 1977 with the help of Nafpaktians within Greece and abroad. The monastery complex also consists of cells for the monks, a guest house, a conference hall, and a retirement home-hospital. There are over 25 monks who live at the monastery complex today.

While in Nafpaktos, Greece you won’t want to miss the chance to visit some of these monasteries!

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