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P. Merakos

Monastery of Agia Lavra

Trace the Modern Greek history in the legendary Monastery of Agia Lavra.

The monastery of Agia Lavra is one of the oldest in Peloponnese, was built in 961 AD, and it is situated on Mt. Helmós in Achaia, at an altitude of 961m. Its history is quite turbulent. It was built in the 10th century, but it was burnt down three times: in 1585 by the Turks, in 1826 by the armies of Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt, and by the German troops in 1943.

The monastery’s museum is devoted to historical treasures of the revolution, like the diamond-decorated Gospel, a gift from Catherine the Great of Russia, the Banner of the Greek Revolution, the sacerdotal vestments of Bishop Germanos, and the Bishop’s crook. The collection also includes a considerable number of crosses decorated with precious stones, documents, books, icons, pieces of gold and silver silk embroidery. On display there is also a significant collection of paintings, as well as the holy shrine of St. Alexios, a gift from the Byzantine emperor Manuel Palaeologos in 1398.

A perfect occasion to visit the monastery would be on 25th March, when commemorative celebrations are held. The re-enactment of the gathering of the War of Independence captains and the raising of the Revolution’s Banner will certainly fascinate you!

If you find yourself in Kalavrita, don’t miss the opportunity to become part of the spiritual atmosphere that this unique historic and sacred site creates.