Holy Monasteries

Coordinates: 37.250035, 21.013953

Monastery of Strofades

At the largest from the two picturesque islands of Strofades, south of Zakynthos, literally isolated from the world is the impressive, majestic monastery with the same name. Externally it resembles more a fortress than a religious centre and is dedicated to the Transfiguration of Christ and Panagia Pantochara.

According to tradition, it was founded in 1241 by the emperor Theodore I Laskaris after a desire of his daughter Irene, and was renovated in around 1440 by John VIII Palaiologos. In the following centuries it mew with two large raids, according to which the complex was destroyed and the monks were killed: in 1530, by Saracen pirates, and in 1717 by the Turks. An important event in the history of the monastery is the year 1568, when Draganigos Sigouros, count from Zakynthos, was ordained a monk here with the name Daniel. This is Agios Dionysios, patron saint of Zakynthos who took this name later, when he became archbishop. In 1570 he became the abbot of the monastery and in 1622 he was buried here, according to his wish. His relic remained at the monastery until the destruction of 1717 and then it was transferred to the city of Zakynthos by the two surviving monks. At the same time, they transferred the seat of the monastery next to the church of Agios Dionysios, where it remains to the present day.

The monastery complex resembles a medieval fortress and is surrounded by walls that exceed 25 metres in height. The catholicon is located in the tower of the monastery, something that you cannot see on any other case. Apart from the main one, there was a secondary small church, dedicated to Agios Georgios, where the relic of Agios Dionysios was placed initially. The monastery possessed excellent library with rare books and manuscripts, as well as valuable sacred vessels, many of which are located today at the museum of the new monastery in the city of Zakynthos and the Biblioteca Marciana in Venice.





Holy Metropolis: 
Zakynthos and Strophades


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