Holy Monasteries

Coordinates: 39.898002, 22.183609

Monastery of Panagia Olympiotissa

At the hill that is northwest of the city of Elassona, with a panoramic view towards the plain, is one of the most important monastery complexes in Thessaly, the Monastery of Panagia Olympiotissa. It is dedicated to the Dormition of the Virgin but until the 18th century is also referred to as the monastery of the Transfiguration of Christ. The name Olympiotissa is related to the tradition that the icon of the Virgin Mary that is kept in its interior comes from the abandoned monastery of Karya in Olympus.

Regarding its foundation date there are no ascertained information, but it is general considered to be in the middle of the 13th century. From references to documents it is known that in the first half of the 14th century it was a men’s monastery and a stauropegic one and its founders are considered the sebastokrator Constantine and Theodoros, co-owners of Thessaly in the period 1289-1303. The monastery obtained great property and had a lot of monks, while for centuries it was the intellectual and religious centre of the area, with its heyday was in the 16th and the 18th centuries.

Its catholicon dates from the 14th century but it seems that it existed before and then it was reconstructed inside the castle. It belongs to the architectural type of the one-aisled church with a dome, which is surrounded by a portico. Its masonry is according to the cloisonné system and has incorporated architectural members. Its interior is decorated with wall paintings from the 14th century, which are attributed to a great artist of the Macedonian School. An excellent example of woodwork is the screen, which was constructed in 1840 by Demetrios Metsovitis, and the wooden-carved gate of the western entranced to the altar area. Around the catholicon they annexed, at various periods of time, chapels and adjacent buildings, which were demolished recently. The only thing that still survives is the adjacent building of 1817 on the southern side, part of which functions as a chapel of Agios Nektarios. The monastery has a lot and important relics, excellent library hostel and a museum of natural history. It is a woman’s monastery and it celebrates on the 15th of August and on the 6th of August.

Each year, in the 5th of October, on the eve of the anniversary of the liberation, the people of the area participate in a procession of the miraculous icon from the monastery to the sacred church of Agios Dimitrios in the centre of the city


Contact phone:


end of the 13th century


6th of August, 15th of August

Holy Metropolis: 


Possibility of free parking

Everyday: morning and afternoon. Closed at noon

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