Kyra Panagia – monastic life

Published by: Thomas Schultze-Westrum

The so called Deserted Islands of the Northern Sporades were sparsely inhabited, but continously cultivated for more than one millenium by monastic communites.

Monasteries or their ruins still exist on:

Kyra Panagia: the ruins of an older monastery above Ag. Petros Bay and the more recent monastery of the I.M. Megisti Lavra on a promontory of the northern coast of the island,

Skantzoura, owned by the I.M. Megisti Lavra (cf. the article: Skantzoura – anybody out there ?)

Piperi (cf. the article: Piperi – the cultural heritage),

Gioura (cf. the article: Gioura – civilization over 10.000 years),

Pappou , owned by the I.M. Megisti Lavra (cf. the article: Northern Sporades conservation zone – various aspects)

Remains of still older habitation go back past the byzantine era to the classical antique colonization period on Kyra Panagia (=Pelagonisos) and Alonnisos (=Ikos, =Chelidromia). And beyond to the mesolithic civilisation on Gioura Island, excavated in the Cave of Kyklops (cf.again the article: Gioura – civilization over 10.000 years).

At the time of my first visits to Kyra Panagia in 1957 and 1958 only one monk resided as a guardian in the monastery. The vineyard still was cultivated with the Alonnisos variety of grapes that was almost completely destroyed by the phylloxera disease in the early 1960s. It first survived at the isolated location, but was eradicated by feral goats in later years.

Nowadays tourist cruise boats frequently anchor at the jetty. The utilization/opening of the Marine Park for (eco-) tourism still remains erratic and does not at all include all the attractive destinations within the Park’s boundaries that could be visited without any deterioration or any disturbance of wildlife if professionally planned and organised.

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This entry was posted on Juli 30, 2010 at 10:01 and is filed under Northern Sporades.

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