Holy Monasteries

Coordinates: 39.170719, 26.481618

Monastery of Agios Raphael

On the hill of Karyes, over the Loutropoli Thermis, amidst the olive groves is the Monastery of Agios Raphael, an important pilgrimage in Lesvos, which attracts a lot of visitors each year.

According to tradition, it was funded in the Byzantine Period and it was dedicated to the Birth of Virgin Mary. In 1235 it was destroyed by pirates and its prioress Olympia was killed. In 1433 they re-founded it and in 1454it flourished when the monk Raphael and deacon Nikolaos settled there. In 1463 the monastery was totally destroyed by the Turks, finding as an excuse a rebellion of the people. The monks and the faithful were slaughtered, while the abbot Raphael, Nikolaos and the girl Eirini, daughter of the local ruler also died there. The monastery was in ruins and during the Turkish Occupation only a chapel of the Virgin Mary was there. After the liberation of Greece, the estates of the area became the property of civilians and during the works for constructing a new church, in 1959, the people revealed and identified the ruins of the monastery and the tombs with the remains of the three saints. The present day women’s monastery was founded in 1963 and it was inaugurated in 1969.

The complex was erected in the 1960s and possesses spacious facilities and hostels for the pilgrims. The catholicon, due the formation of the ground, consists of two churches that have been built one on top of the other, in order to include the tombs of the saints. On the top church, which is dedicated to Agios Raphael, is where his tomb is located, while in the lower one, dedicated to the Dormition of the Virgin, is where the tombs of Agios Nikolaos, Agia Eirini and her father are located. The monastery also has a large church of Agia Magdalini, chapels and a gallery.

The monastery celebrates on Easter Tuesday, the day when the Turks destroyed it and killed the saints there.




Bright Tuesday

Holy Metropolis: 
Mytilini, Eresos and Plomari

Thermi Lesvos

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Close range destinations
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