Holy Monasteries

Coordinates: 37.098840, 22.229985

Monastery of Mele (Monastery of Agios Ioannis Prodromos)

At a green location on Mount Taygetus, near the village of Artemisia and the fortress of Mele of the Palaeologans, on the road from Kalamata to Sparta, is the monastery that is dedicated to Agios Ioannis Prodromos (St John the Baptist) and is known by the name of the fortress.

It was founded before 1600, we don’t know the exact date, even though the architecture of its catholicon relates it to monastery complexes of the area dating from the 16th and the 17th century. During the Turkish occupation, from 1712, it hosted the famous school which taught the works of ancient Greek and Latin writers, mathematics, logic, geography and philosophy. Important teachers taught there and important people of Messenia studied there, among them the patriarch Procopius, the fighters Anagnostaras and Nikitaras, the notables Panagiotis Benakis and Panagiotis Tzanes. The monastery was dissolved with the edict of the regency of Otto in 1833. Later, in the period 1854-1902, at the areas where the Dimakeia Institutes were housed, a mutual teaching school and a Greek school, which operated with the funding of the benefactor Petros Dimakis. In 1902 the facilities were destroyed by fire and later a new building was constructed, where schools operated in various periods, until the 1980s.

From the complex only the catholicon and part of the fortification wall still survive, while from the cells and the auxiliary area only traces of the walls still remain. The church is small, aisleless and belongs to the architectural type of free cross with a narthex and a dome.
its interior is decorated with excellent wall paintings belonging in two periods: the representations of the main church and the altar area date from the 17th century, while the icons in the narthex have been made in 1716, as an inscription informs us.

The monastery celebrates on the 29th of August, the day of beheading of St John the Baptist.



16th century


29 August

Holy Metropolis: 

Under the Supervision of: 
Ephorate of Antiquities of Messinia


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