Holy Monasteries

Coordinates: 39.555732, 20.971934

Monastery of Tsouka

At an impressive location at the edge of the rock of Tsouka, with a panoramic view to the ravine of Arachthos, near the village of Elliniko, is one of the most important pilgrimages of Epirus, the monastery of Tsouka, which is dedicated to the Nativity of the Virgin Mary.

According to tradition, it was founded in 1190 by the emperor Isaac II Angelos and flourished a lot during the period of the Despotate of Epirus. It was destroyed in 1736 and was renovated in 1779, as mentioned in an inscription at its catholicon. It obtained significant property and showed important social work, while it supported financially the school of Elliniko. It was famous for its water, which was considered therapeutic. It remained abandoned for many years but it was reconstructed in the end of the 1990s, and then they restored its cells and its auxiliary areas.

The complex resembles a fortress, since it is surrounded by a tall wall and the two-storey buildings of the cells. At the centre of the area is the catholicon, which dates from the end of the 17th century.

It is an aisleless, cross-in-square church and at its entrance there is a porch with two columns. It is carefully built by white carved stones and its interior is decorated with wall paintings that were made in the end of the 18th century. An inscription mentions that the icons in the church were made with the expenses of the founder Alaxios Papaioannou and in 1779 they completed gold-plating its screen, with the expenses of abbot Gabriel. On the southwestern side of the church there is a large cistern with a cover, while the bell tower is a later addition, in 1866, as the relevant inscription mentions.

Near the entrance of the monastery there is a chapel of the Virgin Mary, while in its back side a special area has been created from which visitors can admire the enchanting view towards the ravine of Arachthos.

Nowadays it is a men’s monastery and it celebrates on the 8th of September with a glorious festival.



Monastery: 1190
Catholicon: end of the 17th century


8 September

Holy Metropolis: 

Under the Supervision of: 
Ephorate of Antiquities of Ioannina

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