The Historical Holy Monastery of Evangelismos
or Moni Evangelistrias - Skiathos island, Greece
Please Visit the Official Monastery's webpage for more..
A small but Historical corner of Greece
still untouched by modernity...
The monastery's gatehouse
The monastery of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary, Vaggelistra as the people of Skiathos call it, is approximately 3 kilometres away from the town of Agaliani and 6 kilometers northern to the city of Skiathos.
The monastery can be reached in the following way: Starting of the city of Skiathos you follow the peripheral road and turn right at the sign where the name of the Monastery is inscribed and go up the road, below Karafilizanaka, Skiathos/highest peak and next to the sources of the Lehoniou's stream, the Monastery of Panagia Evaggelistria can be found.
Vaggelistra rises imposingly in the midst of rich vegetation and it is built in such a manner that one has trouble making it out from far.
The entrance is at the east side, while heavy steel bars protect the wooden and heavy door. In the interior of the monastery there is a courtyard and cells and the other buildings surround the Holy temple.
The monastery of Evaggelistria was founded by one of the leaders of the Kollivades movement, an Athos-monk named Nifon, who with the support of monk Grigorios built the monastery in 1794.
In 1806 with the help of the locals he completed the work. The church is a Byzantine church shaped like a cross, with three domes, two narthaces and an outer narthex. The first dome is quite big, with a small octagonal tympanum and eight windows.
The other two that are smaller rest on the walls. The wood carved temple of the church depicts scenes with saints, exemplifying byzantine technique. There are also remarkable icons with great historical value.
The history of the monastery is directly linked with the history of the island. During the time of Turkish occupation, the monastery supported the struggle of the Greeks against the Turks with money and foodstuff.
During the pre-revolutionary years, it supported the "kleftes" and the "armatoloi", the guerrillas, who found refuge in Skiathos, while in the years of the revolution of 1821, it sheltered refuges from Pilio, Halkida, Evia but also many poor families on the island...
During this time the monks numbered more than fifty, while the library was added to and the scholarship flourished. Historical documents and manuscripts of the monastery have been maintained today.
In September 1807, Nifonas designed and blessed the first flag of Greece..A bright white cross on a clear blue font...
The Greek flag is one of the most recognizable of the world's flags. The simple blue and white design means "Greece" to almost everyone. The square Cross demonstrates the respect and the devotion the Greek people have for the Greek Orthodox Church and signifies the important role of Christianity in the formation of the modern Hellenic Nation.
During the dark years of the Ottoman rule, the Greek Orthodox Church helped the enslaved Greeks to retain their cultural characteristics: the Greek language, to continue the Byzantine culture, which itself was a continuation of the Hellenistic culture which in turn was based on the classical Greek culture, and generally the Greek ethnic identity, by the institution of the Cryfa Sholia (hidden (night) schools)...
The Cryfa Sholia were a web of schools that operated secretly throughout Greece and were committed in transmitting to the Greeks the wonders of their ancestors and the rest of their cultural heritage...
Today, Christianity is still the dominant religion among Greeks with about 99% of them following the Christian Greek Orthodox Faith. Therefore the existence of the Cross is justified...
The two colours, blue and white, symbolizes the blue colour of the sea that surrounds the land and the whiteness of the restless Greeks waves...
According to the mythic legends, the Goddess of Beauty, Aphrodite emerged from these waves. In addition, it reflects the blue of the Greek sky and the white of the few clouds that travel in it...
The Dolfins welcome you to Skiathos island!
The Holy Monastery of Evangelismos (Annunciation of Virgin Mary), or “Moni Evangelistrias” (“Vangelistras” as the locals call it) is situated some 6 kilometers northern to the town of Skiathos, within a place with luxuriant green, beside the spring of the ravine of Lehouni.
The construction of the Monastery started in about 1794 and was completed in 1806. The Monastery was founded by a group of monks, the so- called “Kollyvades”, who came here from Mount Athos, after they had argued about matters of ritual with the majority of the monks there. Kollyvades had influenced a lot the every day life of the island and the Monastery soon became the center of the revolutionary ferments of the period.
According to tradition, it is here that it was woven and first used the version of the Greek flag with the white cross on blue fond. It is in this Monastery that several leaders of the Greek Revolution of 1821 took the oath to set Greece free from the Ottoman yoke: Theodoros Kolokotronis, Andreas Miaoulis, Vlahavas, Nikotsaras and others. It is in this monastery that Theophilos Kairis took his monastic vows when he was put in detention by the Holy Synod of the Greek Orthodox Church.
The Catholicon of the Monastery, situated at the center of the complex, is a three-conch church of Byzantine style, cross-shaped and with three domes. The icon screen is wood carved and of great artistic value and bears icons dated in the 17th and 18th centuries; there are also relics of various saints offered to the Monastery by Lazaros Kountouriotis from Hydra.
Within the area of the Monastery you may see the monks’ cells, the dinning room, the hospital, the dorter, the kitchen with the ovens and the kneading-place, the oil press, now housing an interesting Folk Museum, the library, with a rich collection of books, precious manuscripts, rare editions and patriarchal documents. The visitor can also see two chapels, storehouses, cisterns and stalls.
A great number of visitors come here all year round, but mainly during the Holy Week and on the 15th of August, on the feast of the Assumption of Virgin Mary. On this very day all the locals gathered at the Monastery chant together the hymns in honor of Virgin Mary, a ritual pretty infrequent in Greece.
The Monastery has been recently restored and repaired and several new constructions have been added to the initial buildings, as a new dinning room, new kitchens and several other.
Access to the Monastery is possible by public buses with frequent service, by taxi and by rented or private car and motorbikes.
More original History and more original photos from the Holy Monastery of Annunciation of Virgin Mary of Skiathos - HERE - (In Greek Language)
More from Skiathos island:
The Bourtzi of Skiathos at dawn
Breathtaking Landing - Skiathos!
In the mean time.. (do you feel lucky today ..punk?!?!) hehehe!
The big B757 has landed! It's time to party!
Skiathos Greece September 2007 - Video by Verena