Holy Monasteries

Coordinates: 39.701944, 20.634123

Monastery of Paliouri Zitsas

At the beautiful, green landscape of Zitsa, near the settlement of Paliouri, is the monastery of the Nativity of Virgin Mary, known as Monastery of Paliouri, a name that comes from the plant “paliouri”, which grew everywhere in the surrounding area.

According to tradition it was built in 1688-1690 by Papanastasios Alexiou from Zitsa. However, on the same location there was a church that was founded in 1373 by Thomas Preljubovic, Serbian despot of Ioannina and in the 17th century it was already in ruins. The monastery became wealthy and had important real estate property, and according to tradition hosted a secret school. It was destroyed by Ali Pasha in 1782 and was reconstructed in 1786 with the funding of notables from Zagori, while in 1796 it was renovated. It was destroyed once again in 1820 by Ottoman troops and then its monks were forces to abandon it, but in 1825 it operated again, after a special edict by Resid Mehmed Pasha, commander of Ioannina.

The complex is surrounded by a tall precinct that creates a rectangular yard with trees, and at its centre is the catholicon, surrounded by cells and auxiliary areas. The church belongs to the type of three-aisled basilica with a dome and its roof is arched, with twelve vaults arranged in three series, which are supported on two colonnades with three columns each. Its interior is richly decorated with icons of 1833, works of folk style that are signed by known painters from Ioannina, Theodosios and his son Constantinos. The western side, which collapsed in 1816 and reconstructed, does not have icons, while the representation of Christ on the northern side is the work of the painter Dionysios Zoukis from Kalarrites. At the interior of the church the elaborate wooden carved screen survives, as well as the portable icons of 1678, work of Emmanuel Tzanes, and of the 18th century.

It is a men’s monastery and it celebrates on the 8th of September.


Contact phone:




8 September

Holy Metropolis: 

Under the Supervision of: 
Archaeological Service of Ioannina

30th km Ioannina - Igoumenitsa, Zitsa 44003


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