The Holy Monastery of Zoodochos Pigi

Monasteries of Samos : A holy tour...

Photo Credits : Ioannis E. Kiloukiotis

The Monastery of Zoodochos Pigi (or Ailiotissas) dominates the eastern part of Samos.

It is located on the Rabaidoni Mountain (at an altitude of 400 meters) in Prassos cape, hence oversees Samos Strait and faces the ancient cities of Mycale and Ephesus located in the opposite Asian Minor coast (Turkey).

It was founded in 1756 in a location covered with pine-trees, where, in the past, a Chapel dedicated to Zoodochos Pigi stood. The place was allotted by Archbishop Kallinikos of Samos to the founder of the Monastery, monk Dorotheus. Monastery’s architectures follow the monastic type of the large four-sided complexes with two storey wings.

In 1782 the Catholic of the Monastery was built following the Athonite type of cruciform, complex, three-cone, and four columned Churches, with spacious domed narthex, which was built following the type of a two-pillar simple Church. According to the local tradition the four pillars of the main Church, on which the dome rests, were transferred from an ancient temple in Miletus.

Of special interest is the multi-cone shape of the Credence and Dioakoniko (a place within the Church). However, only few frescoes, in the narthex and the Sanctuary, are preserves, suggesting that in the past the Catholic was not covered with frescoes at all. The Catholic is dominated by the richly decorated and gilded wooden iconostasis dating back in 1802 (made by George Tantalus).

The icons on the iconostasis are older. Marvelous is also the carved bishop’s throne (facing east), as well as the two icon-stands, one of which bears the icon of Zoodochos Pigi (covered with silver decoration, made in 1793), while the other one bear the icon of the Great Prayer of 1819.

The elaborate marble tile floors are also considered important. The doors of the Church are made of small wooden pieces symbolizing the 365 days of the year, while “above the front gate of the Monastery a marble plate is placed (made in 1833) depicting a Church with many obelisks”.

The Monastery, which celebrates the first Friday after Easter, was converted from a man’s Monastery to nunnery (in accordance with the Presidential Decree No.2/1-4-2002), and today, with the blessing of His Eminence the Metropolitan of Samos Mr. Eusebius, a sorority of four nuns lives there mainly exercising the art of hagiography.

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