Monasteries to Visit in Sparta, Greece
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Sparta was an ancient Greek city-state located in present-day Laconia in southern Greece. The name Sparta referred to the main settlement that was on the banks of the Eurotas River. When visiting Sparta, you may be surprised at the number of monasteries in the area. Here are some of the monasteries you can visit when in Sparta, Greece.
Monastery of Kastri
Located in the village of Kastri, the Monastery of Kastri sits in a cave-like area above an older church that has been preserved. These two monasteries are often called the “top” and “bottom” monasteries. The Monastery of Kastri is officially known as the Dormition of Theotokos. The monastery is known to have been destroyed in 1460 by the troops of Mohamed II the Conquerer. During the 17th century, the monastery would undergo substantial restoration. The Monastery of Kastri is surrounded by rocks and greenery. The fort-like architecture of the monastery is sure to impress all who visit.
Monastery of Gola
Located near the village of Goranoi is the Monastery of Our Lady of the Life-Giving Spring, more commonly known as Gola. The domed church of the monastery was built in 1632. Thanks to the locals and the Church of Sparta, the monastic cells on the south side of the courtyard were built as well as structures to protect the exterior of the cathedral. The Monastery of Gola is surrounded by chestnut trees and black pines.
The monastery played an important role after its construction in helping to continue the spiritual uplifting of the enslaved Greeks and as an important economic factor for the locals. Visitors to the Monastery of Gola are often impressed by the traditions and stories that are connected with it.
Monastery of the Holy Forty Martyrs
The Monastery of the Holy Forty Martyrs is located 8 km from Sparta near Chrysafa. The site is surrounded by greenery. The monastery was founded in 1305 at a slightly higher location near the gorge of the stream of Sofronis. During the 17th century, the Monastery of the Holy Forty Martyrs was moved to its current location. The monastery was allowed to serve as an intellectual center.
In 1770, the monastery was abandoned after it was torched by the Turco-Albanians. When the Revolution started, the monastery resumed operation again and made great contributions to food and supplies. The monastery would be torched again in 1826 and 1943. When visiting the monastery, you can admire the library and rare documents and relics that are showcased at its museum.
Monastery of Saint Anargyroi
The Monastery of Saint Anargyroi was likely built in the 9th century AD. The ancient monastery is an important historical monuments. The monastery is located on Stamatiras Hill, which is a lovely forested areas that is found between Tsitzina Village and Vassara Village. The Monastery of Saint Anargyroi is surrounded by beautiful scenery that will adds to the peaceful ambiance. The monastery was first mentioned in 1293 the golden seal decree of Andronikos II Palaiologos who established the jurisdiction of the Metropolis of Monemvasia.
While visiting Sparta, Greece you should consider visiting these monasteries.
This post was written by GreekBoston.com