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The Holy Monastery of Evangelismos, or Moni Evangelistrias

The Holy Monastery of Evangelismos (Annunciation of Virgin Mary), or “Moni Evangelistrias” (“Vangelistras” as the locals call it) is situated some 6 kilometers northern to the town of Skiathos, within a place with luxuriant green, beside the spring of the ravine of Lehouni.

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The construction of the Monastery started in about 1794 and was completed in 1806. The Monastery was founded by a group of monks, the so- called “Kollyvades”, who came here from Mount Athos, after they had argued about matters of ritual with the majority of the monks there. Kollyvades had influenced a lot the every day life of the island and the Monastery soon became the center of the revolutionary ferments of the period. According to tradition, it is here that it was woven and first used the version of the Greek flag with the white cross on blue fond. It is in this Monastery that several leaders of the Greek Revolution of 1821 took the oath to set Greece free from the Ottoman yoke: Theodoros Kolokotronis, Andreas Miaoulis, Vlahavas, Nikotsaras and others. It is in this monastery that Theophilos Kairis took his monastic vows when he was put in detention by the Holy Synod of the Greek Orthodox Church.

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The Catholicon of the Monastery, situated at the center of the complex, is a three-conch church of Byzantine style, cross-shaped and with three domes. The icon screen is wood carved and of great artistic value and bears icons dated in the 17th and 18th centuries; there are also relics of various saints offered to the Monastery by Lazaros Kountouriotis from Hydra. Within the area of the Monastery you may see the monks’ cells, the dinning room, the hospital, the dorter, the kitchen with the ovens and the kneading-place, the oil press, now housing an interesting Folk Museum, the library, with a rich collection of books, precious manuscripts, rare editions and patriarchal documents. The visitor can also see two chapels, storehouses, cisterns and stalls.

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A great number of visitors come here all year round, but mainly during the Holy Week and on the 15th of August, on the feast of the Assumption of Virgin Mary. On this very day all the locals gathered at the Monastery chant together the hymns in honor of Virgin Mary, a ritual pretty infrequent in Greece.

The Monastery has been recently restored and repaired and several new constructions have been added to the initial buildings, as a new dinning room, new kitchens and several other.

Access to the Monastery is possible by public buses with frequent service, by taxi and by rented or private car and motorbikes.
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