Monasteries & Churches

Monastery & Cave of Agios Gerasimos

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The Monastery of Agios (St.) Gerasimos is the most holy Church of the island. It is build located in the village Omala, at the top of the green valley with 40 wells, near the villages Fragata and Balsamata.

Agios Gerasimos is the patron saint of Kefalonia, and its relic is kept in the monastery, in a silver urn.

Agios Gerasimos was a monk from Trikala of Corinth and founded the monastery in the 16th century, renovating an older one, which was dedicated to the Virgin Mary. He died in 1597 and sanctified in 1622. He became famous for his miraculous abilities on people suffering from mental illness. The monastery is impressive, with a chapel and a new church with very rich decoration.

Below the Monastery (in early years the Monastery was in front) is a cave, built by Agios Gerasimos, where he held his daily prayers. Pilgrims from all over Greece come to pray and honor the saint here.

The people of Kefalonia honor the death of Saint Gerasimos the monastery on the 16th August and the restitution of his holy relic on October 20th. On those days, a procession of the saint is taking place. The coffin is moved under the shadow of a plane tree, which was planted by Agios Gerasimos himself. The ceremony is followed by a big festival with music, dancing, food and wine.

Opening hours:
Monday – Sunday, 7am – 13pm and 3pm – 9pm

Monastery of Virgin of Atros



The Monastery of Atros is the oldest monastery of Kefalonia and is located on the homonym mountain (Atros) at an altitude of 760m and about 3km from Poros.

The monastery was built around the 8th century AD with a fortress like architecture and until this day the medieval tower is still preserved in good condition.

Unfortunately, the monastery itself has suffered serious damage from the the 1953 earthquakes and by wildfires in 1994. The charismatic and distinctive elder Father Klimis (Clement) lived here ascetic during the last century. He is about to be rewared with the ranking of a Saint from the Greek Orthodox Church in the coming years.

The monastery itself is celebrating on September 8th (Birth of Virgin Mary).



Monastery of Agios Andreas (St. Andrew)

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The Monastery of Agios Andreas (St. Andrew) is suspected to be built during the 13th century and was renovated in 1639.

As known, the island of Kefalonia was badly wounded in 1953 by earthquakes and so was the biggest part of the monastery. It was then, when rare wall paintings were discovered. In later years the church was fully restored.

The area of the main part of he Church is preserved intact in its original form. The iconostasis is covered with icons work of the early 17th century. The parapet of the temple, with subjects from the Passion of Christ was made by the priest Theodore Poulakis, while the sanctuary doors depicting the three bishops are works of the deacon Athanasius Anninou.

The monastery celebrates twice a year: on November 30th in memory of Agios Andreas and on Easter Friday in memory of the Life Giving Fountain, which is also the second protector of the monastery.

Under the initiative of Bishop of Cephalonia, the Ecclesiastic Byzantine Museum of Peratata was founded in 1988. In the year 2002 it was housed in its own building built for this purpose, at the Monastery of Agios Andreas.

In the first room are the detached wall paintings from the Holy Temple of the church of the Archangels of Milapidias. Among the exhibits are the shroud of the national martyr Patriarch of Constantinople, Gregory 5th, the stole (vestment) of Agios Nektarios and the shirt of Agios Panagis (priest-Basia). One can also see two handwritten letters of Agios Cosmas of Aetolia, from 1777.

One of the most important exhibits is the bag of Archbishop of Kefalonia, embroidered by Sister Theodora Kanali from Metaksata, between 1715 and 1721. The bag shows themes from the Jesus Christ as the “Vine” in front and Mary as “Root of the Iesai” in the rear.

Opening hours of Monastery:
Monday – Sunday: 7am – 2pm and from 5pm – 8pm

Opening hours of Museum:
Monday – Saturday: 8am – 2pm




Monastery of Kipoureon (Gardeners)

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On the west coast of Kefalonia and just 15km from Lixouri visitors will find the historic Monastery of Kipoureon.
The Monastery sits on a cliff 90m above the sea, in one of the most impressive landscapes of Kefalonia.

It was built in the 17th century and its name origins from the gardens which were maintained from the fathers to ensure the necessary livelihood. Initially only a church was built by the Archimandrite Chrysanthos Petropoulos, who dedicated it to the Annunciation of Virgin Mary and the Elevation of the Holy Cross. Soon after, a male monastery was built, which in its heyday had 80 members.

In the monastery one can pay his/her respect to the miraculous picture of the Annunciation of Virgin Mary as well as the Cares of the Saints founders of the Abbey Chrysanthou; Constantius and Efrosynou.

The monastery also holds a piece of the True Cross, which was donated to the Monastery by the Russian Prince Vladimir Dolgoroukis in 1862.
In an elegant glass bottle the Chrism (Myrrh) of Saint Demetrios from the 7th century is kept.
One can even one can pay his/her respect to the relics of various saints and the miraculous icon of Saint Paraskevi, the sole relic of the destroyed monastery of Taphion.

The monastery celebrates:
– the Annunciation of Virgin Mary on March 25th
– the 3rd Sunday of fastings
– the Exaltation of the Holy Cross on September 14th; with solemn vigil and the presence of its Bishop
– the celebration of Saint Agia Paraskevi on July 26th

The view from the monastery is absolutely unique and deserves the admiration of the visitors, especially during the sunset hours.

Monastery of Virgin Fidiotissa

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In the village Markopoulos of Kefalonia, in a hillside full of trees, is the Church of the Assumption. In this Church are presented every year from August 6 to 15, the small snakes of Virgin Mary, hanging from the church icons. The image of the Virgin Mary, according to tradition, was found in a tree, where unknown how, caught fire without damaging the image. It belongs to the Holy Metropolis of Kefalonia.



Greek City Times

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