Holy Monasteries

Coordinates: 38.825595, 20.678185

Monastery of Panagia Faneromeni

On the picturesque hill, filled with pine trees, which is located 3 kilometers west of the city of Lefkada, with a panoramic view to the Ionian Sea and Epirus, stands impressively the oldest and largest church of the island which is dedicated to its patron saint, Virgin Mary. Its name is due to the tradition that the first icon of Panagia was made in drawing that she herself reveled to the icon maker.

This location was for centuries the religious centre of the island. In antiquity a sanctuary of Artemis was here, while in the 1st century AD it was here that they founded the first church of Virgin Mary by the helpers of Apostle Paul, who preached Christianity to the island.

The core of the island was created later, in 332, when the bishop of Lefkada Agatharchos and two priests settled at the church and built the first cells. The monastery assumed its present day form during the Latin Occupation in the 18th century. It was set on fire in 1762, possibly by the Venetians; it was set on fire again in 1886 and was reconstructed in 1887, while several of the buildings are newer additions.

At the centre of the complex is the catholicon, built in 1734 and dedicated to the Descent of the Holy Spirit.

Architecturally is a spacious single-aisled basilica with a saddleback wooden roof and intense influence from Zakynthos. Its neoclassical screen, which was constructed in 1915, is the work of Efstathios Prosalentis, the best craftsman of his time in Lefkada, while the icons are works of 1919 by the brothers Zografos from Chionades of Ioannina. The icon of Virgin Mary is a replica of the older one, work of the monk Veniamin Kontrakis in 1887, and is located at a shrine at a specially shaped area next to the altar.

There are two chapels at the monastery, of Agios Silouanos and Agios Raphael, a hostel for accommodating visitors, excellent library with significant books, and its ecclesiastical museum with valuable relics, manuscripts and portable icons.

It is a men’s monastery and celebrates on the Monday of the Holy Spirit. 



18th century


Holy Spirit

Holy Metropolis: 
Lefkada and Ithaca

Country road Lefkada - Tsoukaladon - Ag. Nikitas

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