The next in The Kefalonia Pulse guides to monasteries, Kipouria will follow tomorrow.

On the top of Mount Atros, almost in the clouds stands the Monastery of Atros otherwise known as Theotokos Monastery. It overlooks Poros  approximately 4 miles away, and the surrounding area. Providing amazing views from the Peloponnese to Ithaca and mainland Greece, Atros is well worth a visit.
The road up to Atros is about 4 miles long and is in poor condition, being quite steep with loose rocks and rubble, but if you have a 4 wheel drive and you are sensible then there should be no problem. You can venture up in a standard hire car, locals seem to cruise up in all methods of vehicles. Just check the insurance level you have on your hire vehicle.
It is the oldest monastery on the island and sits at an altitude of 760 metres above sea level. The monastery is a survivor having been destroyed 17 times mainly down to earthquakes and fires. Each time the building has been destroyed the monks rebuilt it.
The tower which dates from the middle ages is still preserved and the original Monastery was built in the Byzantine era around the 8th century. Previously the manly Monastery had many members but only one monk now resides there. Inside the tower you can see the monastery’s old wine press and also the monastic cells.
Outside painted white and blue is the well used to provide the monastery with water. You are free to wander in peace and quiet through the grounds of this wonderful site. Just west from the monastery is a scenic plateau where fabulous enormous olive trees grow and the monks used to have their vineyard.
Sadly in 1994 a devastating fire destroyed the well stocked library at the monastery which housed a wealth of knowledge.
The Monastery has had quite an eventful and colourful history, including being attacked 3 times by Saracens during the middle ages with the loss of 127 monks. Not only classed as the oldest monastery on the island but the oldest standing building on Kefalonia – well worth a visit for those adventurous enough to go off the beaten track.
The Monastery celebrates on 8th September (feast day of the Virgin’s birth).

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