The Monastery is the second oldest in Greece built in 1017 and renovated 1088, built by Alexius Comnenus I. It is literally hanging on the cliff side 300 m above the sea. The monastery was created as an ode to the Grace of Panagia, known as the Virgin Mary, which is the patron saint of the island. It was built in order to protect a religious icon, dating from the year 812, from intruders. The icon is carried around to all the villages on the island every year.
A perfect blend of nature and the beauty of man’s creation, the monastery symbolizes man’s tribute to the Holy Mother. Built into the face of a cliff, it provides a breathtaking view of the sparkling blue waters of the Aegean Sea.
The building is 40 meter high and 5 meter width has 8 stories that develop in a larger width utilizing functional wall recesses of rock. There is a labyrinth interior with the church, the cells and the various auxiliary rooms forming a set that with resourcefulness and usability meets the needs of the monastic brotherhood.
Visitors have to be dressed in a specific way in order to enter. Men have to wear long trousers and women a skirt or a wrap around shift down to the knee, not trousers. The monastery is active and houses practicing monks.
Featured Image: Panagia Hozoviotissa