Holy Monasteries

Coordinates: 37.700668, 21.325732

Monastery of Skafidia

At an idyllic landscape next to the outfalls of the river Iardanos and the deep blue beach of Skafidia, dominates the monastery with the same name, dedicated to the Dormition of the Virgin. Regarding its name there are various stories, which relate it to ancient Pheia, with the morphology of its location, which resembles a trough (skafidi in Greek), with the local manufacturers of troughs or with the discovering of the now lost icon of the Virgin Mary in a trough in the sea.

The monastery is the oldest in Elis, since its foundation dates at least from the 12th century. In its long term history it met with periods of flourishing nut also numerous destructions. During the years of the first period of the Turkish occupation it was abandoned and its monks sought refuge in Zakynthos, while in the period of the Latin Occupation (end of the 17th – beginning of the 18th century) it became the metochi of the Monastery of Strophades in Zakynthos and was renovated. In the period of the Turkish occupation and the Greek Revolution, in which it participated actively, it was torched twice.  In 1886 it collapsed due to an earthquake and in 1943-1944 it was destroyed by the German and Italian troops.

The complex from afar resembles a medieval fortress, even though its present day form is changes due to the numerous repairs and alterations. At a dominant position stands the unique four-sided, two-storey building at the centre of the western side, with the four cylindrical bastions on the corners. Perhaps it was built during the Venetian occupation, as shown by its western style architecture, and it housed the abbey and the treasury of the monastery, while it was used as the refuge of the monks in case of danger. The catholicon was constructed in the 12th century and initially it was a cross-in-square church with a dome, from which only parts of the cloisonné style masonry survive, on the eastern side. In 1887, after its destruction, it was converted into an aisleless basilica with a narthex and a porch. At its narthex there are wall paintings of folk style that date from 1710.

The monastery possesses important archive, a library and a museum with a lot of relics. It is a women monastery and celebrates on the 15th of August.


Contact phone:


12th century


15 August

Holy Metropolis:
Elis and Oleni

Under the Supervision of:
EFA Ilias

Skafidia 27100

Access: Car. From the national highway Pyrgos-Patras we turn right to the intersection of Lasteikon towards Agios Ioannis.
Then we follow the road towards Skourochori. There we encounter the intersection towards Skafidia.
At the village's altitude, on the right, is the monastery.


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