Holy Monasteries

Coordinates: 38.089495, 22.175094

Monastery of Mega Spileo (Monastery of the Dormition of the Virgin)

At the opening of a large cave at the vertical rock, on the western slope of mount Chelmos, 11 km northeastern of Kalavryta, literally hanging over the gorge of the river Vouraikos, is the impressive historic monastery of the Dormition of the Virgin.

It is one of the oldest monasteries of Greece, which according to tradition was founded in 362 by the brother monks Symeon and Theodoros from Thessaloniki, who discovered the icon of Virgin Mary in the cave, with the help of Osia Efrosini.

During it long history the monastery suffered serious destructions, in 840, in 1400, and in 1640, while in 1641 it was reconstructed completely. It is considered a stronghold of the Revolution of 1821, since many of its monks were members of the Filiki Etairia (Society of Friends) and actively supported the fight. Approximately a century after the liberation, in 1934, its catholicon was destroyed by fire and in 1937 a new church was constructed. In 1943 the Germans plundered and torched the monastery and executed the monks and the visitors. After this last destruction, the buildings were completely reconstructed.

The monastery complex has eight floors, built on the opening of the rock with the almost vertical front that reaches approximately 120 meters in height.

The catholicon is carved on the rock, at the third floor. Architecturally it belongs to the type of cross-in-square church with two narthexes and its interior is decorated with wall paintings of the 17th and the 19th century. It has a remarkable wood-carved screen and marble inlays, while a special location is held by the icon of the Virgin Mary holding baby Jesus. It is made of wax-mastic and is considered the work of Luke the Evangelist. The monastery has an excellent library and a well taken care of museum with rare books and manuscript decorated with wonderful miniatures, as well as the relics of saints and unique relics, from which a rare flag with the figures of three Byzantine emperors stands out.

It is a men’s monastery and it celebrates on the 15th of August, on the 14th of September and on the 18th of October (celebration of Agios Lukas and the founders).


Contact phone:


17th century


15 August, 14 September, 18 October

Holy Metropolis: 
Kalavrita and Aigialeia


All day except 12.00-13.00 in the winter period.
All day except 13.00-14.00 in the summer period.

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