Holy Monasteries

Coordinates: 40.003235, 22.462140

Monastery of Panagia Kanalon (Monastery of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary Kanalon)

On the south foothills of Olympus, east of Karya, at the entrance of a beautiful, green valley with an impressive view to the surrounding area, is situated the famous monastery that is dedicated to the Nativity of the Virgin Mary. It is known as the Monastery of Kanalon, a name that is due to the four streams, “kanalia” as they were called, which flow there and create the small river Ziliana.

According to tradition, it was founded by the monks Damianos and Ioakeim, in the 9th or the 11th century, however the oldest written source regarding its history is an inscription of 1638, which mentions the painting of icons at the church of Agioi Pantes (All Saints). Indeed, the 17th century was the heyday of the monastery, and a lot of restoration and decoration works have been made to the churches and the rest of the buildings of the complex. During the 19th century the monastery suffered from many lootings and destructions and although it was a stauropegic monastery, it gradually declines and it was abandoned in 1930. Since 2001 it has been operational again, and its facilities have been renovated.

The complex is surrounded by a tall precinct and wings of auxiliary buildings and cells, while at the centre of its years there is the catholicon. The church was constructed in 1883 by the architect Efthimios Milios from Pentalofos in Kozani, on the location of an older one, which has been destroyed in 1881. It belongs to the type of the three-aisled, vaulted basilica, it has an elevated gynaikonitis and is built of local stone and marble. Next to it is the chapel of Agios Dimitrios, a small aisleless church that was built in 1684 and its icons were made in the years 1689-1696. Older is the small cemetery church of Agioi Pantes, in whose interior there survives a wall painting decoration from 1638. Impressive is the refectory of the monastery, an oblong building, which on the eastern side ends into three conchs decorated with icons.


Contact phone:


11th century


8 September

Holy Metropolis:

8th km of the provincial road Karyas - Leptokaryas, Karya Olympus


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