Holy Monasteries

Coordinates: 37.960924, 23.797932

Monastery of Issodion Theotokou Kaisarianis (Monastery of Kaisariani)

On the western slope of Hymettus, hidden in an idyllic green valley, is the Monastery of Kaisariani, a name that is mentioned for the first time in the beginning of the 13th century, but its origin remains untraceable.

The first Christian centre of the area was founded in the 5th-6th century, the nearby hill of “Frankomonastiro” and was transferred to the present day location in the 11th century. During the period of the Latin and Turkish occupation the monastery was independent and did not pay taxes, it was financially strong and it was an important intellectual centre with an excellent library and scholar abbots. It started to decline in the end of the 18th century and it was dissolved in 1834 with a decree by King Otto’s regency.

The monastery complex is surrounded by a tall precinct with two gates, one west and one east, where there is the spring of Kriokephali.

Architecturally, the catholicon belongs to the variation of semi complex, cross-in-square church. It dates from the 11th century and is considered a landmark in the development of Greek church architecture due to its quality and its style. Later additions (16th and 17th century) are the chapel of Agios Antonios and the narthex with the dome. From the initial interior decoration of the catholicon only parts of the marble screen still survive. The wall paintings are made at a later date, in the 18th century, with the exception of the shape of Panagia Deomeni, from the 14th century.

Contemporary with the catholicon was the bath, one of the very few known examples in Greece. This is a triconch building with a dome, which possesses a system of water and air pipelines, and during the Turkish Occupation it was converted into an olive oil press. Opposite the catholicon is the refectory of the monastery and the kitchen with the tall chimney, which date from the 16th or the 17th century, while the two-story cell complex and the three-story tower of the well-known Athenian family of Benizelos were constructed later.

The monastery is an archaeological site and celebrates only on November 21st.


Contact phone:


11th century


21st of November

Holy Metropolis: 
Archdiocese of Athens

Under the Supervision of: 
Archaeological Service of Athens

Forest of Kaisariani - Hymettus, Kaisariani 16122


Access to People with Special Needs: 


Everyday 08:30-15:00 except Monday

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