Holy Monasteries

Coordinates: 38.165533, 20.588924

Monastery of Agios Gerasimos

On the foothills of mount Ainos, at the valley of Omaloi, in a green location surrounded by vineyards, is the most important religious centre of Cephalonia, the Monastery of Agios Gerasimos, patron saint of the island.

The history of the monastery is closely related to the life of Agios Gerasimos, a monk who arrived in Cephalonia in the middle of the 16th century. At the location of the present day monastery there was an older monastery, of Agia Maria of Jerusalem. In 1561, the monastery and the surrounding estates were granted by the priest of the area Georgios Valsamos to Gerasimos, who renovated the church and founded the women’s monastery, which took the name “New Jerusalem”.

The modern complex extends to two different wings and includes two churches, auxiliary areas and large hostels, while at the entrance is the impressive bell tower. The catholicon is dedicated to the Dormition of the Virgin. At its interior the relics of Agios Gerasimos are exhibited, dressed as he was buried, in a shrine placed in an elaborate silver reliquary, at the location where his tomb used to be. Also at the church is the saint’s hermitage, where visitors can see by descending through an opening on the floor. It consists of two areas that communicate on their basis with a narrow opening, and must have been initially a cistern, probably under the older church.

The second church is dedicated to Agios Gerasimos, is a lot larger and was constructed after the earthquake of 1953. In the area of the monastery one can also see the platanus trees, which according to tradition were planted by the saint himself, as well as some of the forty well that are in the valley and which are said to be opened by the saint in order to ensure the water supply to the area.

The monastery celebrates on the 16th and the 23rd of August (death of the saint), on the 20th and και 26th of October (translation of the saint’s relics).



16th century


16th of August (Dormition of the Saint), 23rd of August, 20th of October, 26th of October

Holy Metropolis: 

Omala 28100



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