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Φωτογραφίες Μονής

Monastery Filotheou

In a deep wood, half an hour away from Karakalou abbey, lies the abbey of Philotheou. From Karies it takes two hours and a half to reach this abbey, which is built 300 meters above sea level. The buildings of the abbey, along with the surroundings hills, rivers, wild flowers and the huge one- hundred old trees, form one of the most impressive sights in the whole world.

History mixes with tradition and the facts are not easily distinguished from myths. Anyhow, the legends mention that the monastery was built by St. Philotheos who lived before 972, during the same period with St. Athanassios. At the beginning, the abbey was called Fteris abbey. Later on, Nikiphoros Botaneates (1078-1081, added new buildings to the existing one, and offered many treasures to the abbey (amongst them, wood from the Holy Cross).

In the second ritual of Aghion Oros, the abbey comes in the 13th place. In 1492, Gregorian Leontios Sovereign and his son Alexander renovated the abbey. In 1500, abbot of the abbey was probably the hermit Dionisius who later went to Mount Olympus where he founded anothet abbey. In 1734, King of Wallachia Gregory Gicas, gave the abbey a decree sealed with his golden seal.

Unfortunately, in 1871, the abbey was all burned down except the main temple, the altar and the library, but the monks rebuilt it little by little, bringing it to the shape it has today. Its main temple has remarkable wall paintings, which date from 1752, and its name was given in honor of Christ’s Annunciation. Among its treasures we notice the arm of St. John Chrysostomos, a gift by Andronicos Paleologos the second, the miraculous icon of Glykofilousa which measures 1,26 meters x 0,871, relics of several saints, excellent objects of worship, sacerdotal vestments e.t.c. In the altar, there are wall paintings, painted by Georgi from Crete, in 1540.

Altogether, there are twelve cells built in this wooded, remote region and two other ones built in Karies, which all belong to the Philotheou Abbey.