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Mega Spileo is considered to be the oldest monastery in Greece. It
was founded by saints Theodoros and Simeon after a vision by the shepherdess Euphrosyne
in 362 AD led to the discovery of the icon in the cave behind the site of the
It has been destroyed several times due to war incidents and fire. The last major fire took place in 1934, after a keg of gunpowder left behind from the War of Independence exploded. In 1943 the Nazis killed many of the residents and looted seventy lorry loads of furniture and relics, much of it later recovered. The view is the most beautiful gift of the monastery since it is located at a height of 1000 m., while a huge building like castle, rises up to 8 floors inside the physical hole of an enormous rock. The church of the monastery, built during the 17th century, has beautiful frescoes, although old and blur, a floor with mosaic and a bronze door with stinted draw. Inside the Mega Spileo is saved the picture of Holy Mother, made of gum and wax, which is one of the three the Evangelist Lukas had made. A path that starts from the monastery leads at the top of the rock where there are left pieces of a castle and some cannons.
The monastery once had 450 monks and was among the richest in the Greek world, owning properties throughout the Peloponnese, in Macedonia, Constantinople and Asia Minor. Its treasury, arranged as a small museum, is outstanding. There is also a smaller chapel with a remarkable collection of body parts from various saints.
This text is cited December 2004 from the West Greece Region General Secretariat URL below, which contains image.
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