Holy Monasteries

Coordinates: 38.191962, 23.457857

Monastery of Osios Meletios Kithairona

At the foothills of Kithairon, near Oinoi, on the border of the prefectures of Attica and Boeotia, at a beautiful location filled with pine trees, is the Monastery of Osios Meletios, one of the most important centres of ascetic life during the Byzantine period.

The history of the monastery is closely related to the activity of Osios Meletios the Younger who was the reformer of ascetic life in Greece. Osios Meletios, who came from Cappadocia, arrived at this location in the end of the 11th century and founded his own monastic community, following the strict rules of asceticism of the early Christian years. Around the central monastery, which was named after him, he also founded at least twenty two metochia, many of which still survive in ruins. The monastery became famous and then it became a stauropegic monastery and continued to flourish until the 16th century, when it was renovated by the Metropolitan of Athens Nicanor. During the centuries it suffered a lot of destructions and raids and looting, and in the years following the liberation it declined, while in 1883 it became the Metochi of the Monastery of Faneromeni in Salamina. In 1928 it was re-founded by the Archbishop of Athens and in 1950 it changed into a women’s monastery community.

At the monastery there are interesting modern and Byzantine buildings (churches, refectory, cell complexes), which stand out due to their sculpture and painting decoration. The catholicon is a small cross-in-square church with a large narthex and an octagonal dome which is supported by four columns. Its interior is decorated with wall paintings, but very few fragments from the original ones still survive today. The wall paintings that can be seen today at the main church and the narthex date from the 17th century. On the southern side of the church there is annexed a chapel dedicated to Taxiarches, which perhaps was the first catholicon of the monastery, while the tomb of Osios Meletios is located in an underground crypt. The monastery celebrates on September 1st, day of celebration of Osios Meletios.


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12th century

1rst of September

Holy Metropolis: 
Megara and Salamis

Mandra Idullia 19600

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