Holy Monasteries

Coordinates: 36.942478, 22.446289

Monastery of Zerbitsi

At a beautiful green plateau at the eastern foothills of Taygetus, south of the village of Xirokambi in Sparta, is the historical Monastery of Zerbitsi, dedicated to the Dormition of Virgin Mary.

According to the founding inscription it was founded in 1639, possibly over an older, Byzantine church of Virgin Mary, since tradition has its history reaching back to the 12th century. it as a stauropegic monastery and flourished a lot after 1690, and as a matter of fact an important workshop of copying manuscripts of codices operated here. In 1770, during the Orlov Revolt, it was looted and torched. It participated in the Revolution of 1821 with most important personality the monk Gabriel Zerbitsiotis, who took his name from the monastery, and in 1826 it was destroyed by Ibrahim’s army, but it was repaired and hosted the school of the area and an orphanage.

The complex is surrounded by a tall precinct that makes it look like a fortress. At its interior, apart from the initial buildings there are new facilities, cells, auxiliary areas and a lot of chapels. The catholicon, in the middle of the yard, is a cross-in-square church of Athonite type, that is with two conches on the side walls, and a later narthex, from the end of the 17th century. Its dome is octagonal and is supported on four columns. Externally the walls have a rich ceramic decoration and walled-in older architectural members. Inside the church is richly decorated with wall paintings in 1669, which according to the founding inscription were made with the sponsorship of lord Emmanuel from Constantinople. The representations follow the style of the folk icon painters of the 17th century and are considered the works of an unknown student of the painter Dimitrios Kakavas. A prominent spot at the interior of the church has the miraculous icon of Virgin Mary holding baby Jesus.

The monastery has a museum, where they keep important relics, icons, wood carvings, silver works, a gold plated epitaph of 1539, a banner from 1639, as well as sacred saint relics. It is a women’s monastery and celebrates on the 23rd of August.


Contact phone:




23rd of August

Holy Metropolis: 
Monemvasia and Sparta

Under the Supervision of: 
Archaological Service of Laconia

Xirocambi of Laconia 23054

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