Monastery of Kalopetra

Posted in: Places to visit
by Fileo
photo by Dominicious Malleotus


Monastery of Kalopetra

Surrounded by the stunning physical scenery of an unspoiled pine forrest, built in 1780 on a mountain slope above the valley of Butterflies, lies the monastery of Panagià Kalopetra (the Virgin of Kalopetra). It was founded by Alexandros Ypsilantis during his exile in Rhodes. Ypsilantis was a Greek prince, ruler of Wallachia and Moldavia, engaged in various wars against the Ottomans. His grandson was the leader of the Filiki Eteria that began the Greek Revolution in 1821.

There are two contrasting stories involving the founding of this small monastery. One, the most plausible, narrates that Ypsilantis brought in this area his daughter to cure her from tuberculosis, as the water that sprung from a rock of the mountain was considered to be therapeutic. In gratitude, he founded this small monastery dedicated to Virgin Mary giving the name of Kalopetra that in Greek means good stone. According to the other story the prince built this monastery after having survived a terrible sea storm with his two children. The legend says that Ypsilantis saw a divine light emanating from the area of Kalopetra that helped their ship to reach the land safely.

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