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Monasteries to Visit in Skopelos, Greece

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Known for being the most green island in the Aegean Sea, Skopelos is home to whitewashed houses, colorful courtyards, and winding alleys. The island of Skopelos, Greece is the second largest of the Sporade Islands. It is rich in emerald waters and pine trees that cover its landscape.

The history of Skopelos is thought to have begun during the Neolithic period. When visiting the Skopelos, you will have many opportunities to experience the history of the island. One way to see this history is through the monasteries of Skopelos.

The Monastery of Agia Varvara

Located on the northern side of Skopelos, the Monastery of Agia Varvara is the oldest on the island. It was built in 1648 and is distinguished by its fortified architecture. The monastery is surrounded by strong walls. The location of the Monastery of Agia Varvara offers a lovely view of the sea. This location was perfect as a lookout for approaching enemies. There are three gates at the monastery: one is dedicated to Agia Varvara, the second is dedicated to the Circumcision of the Christ, and the third is dedicated to Agios Charalambos.

The Monastery of Agios Riginos

The Monastery of Agios Riginos is just 4 km from Chora. The monastery is dedicated to the patron saint of the island, Agio Riginos. When visiting this monastery, you can also see the tomb of the saint who was martyred in the 4th century. Agio Riginos was of Greek origin. When his reputation for holiness reached the island of Skopelos, the inhabitants got him to be their bishop and their spiritual guide. It is thought the monastery was built in 1728, likely on the remains of an older Byzantine monastery. At one corner of the monastery there are cells and a fountain sits not far from the location.

The Monastery of Timios Prodromos

At the foothills of Mount Polouki, is the Monastery of Timios Prodromos. It is located only 300 meters from Agia Varvara. Until 1920, it was a male monastery and it then became a nunnery. Nuns still care for the monastery today. In 1721, the monastery was renovated under monk Filaretos, which is mentioned on the inscription at the entrance. The temple is wood-carved and high with birds, animals, tendrils, and 15 icons with large feasts. The icons of the Monastery of Timios Prodromos are from the 16 – 18th centuries.

The Monastery of Panagia Evangelistria

Considered one of the most important Byzantine monuments on the island of Skopelos, the Monastery of Panagian Evangelistria was constructed in 1712 and would be renovated by a local family during the 18th century. The location of the monastery offers a panoramic view of the island. The monastery belongs to the Xiropotamos monastery of Mount Athos. In the courtyard there is a roofed fountain that refers to Deponte as the founder of the Monastery of Panagia Evangelistria. There are icons from the 14th century at the monastery as well as other objects and images to view.

These monasteries are just a handful of the ones that are present on the island of Skopelos.

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This post was written by GreekBoston.com

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