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Evangelistria Monastery in Skiathos, The Cradle of Modern Greece

Evangelistria Monastery Skiathos
Evangelistria Monastery, Skiathos. Credit: 123anci , CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikipedia Commons

The Evangelistria Monastery on the Greek island of Skiathos holds the story of Modern Greece in the walls, hallways and courtyards.

This historical monastery was first founded in 1794 by a group of monks from Mount Athos and played a crucial role in the 1821 revolution which brought independence to Greece.

Since the monks from Mount Athos did not accept the traditional rites when they founded the monastery, later in 1807 some of the most important leaders of the revolution, including Theodoros Kolokotronis and Andreas Miaoulis took what is referred to as the “Oath of Freedom,” on a newly designed Greek flag, a white cross on a sky-blue background, which was woven on a loom at the site.

Because of this one event, there is an enormous difference between this monastery and Mount Athos; women are allowed to enter Evangelistria.

Evangelistria monastery hosts loom on which first Greek flag was created

The museum houses ecclesiastical artifacts and presents information on the history of the Monastery such as priests’ vestments, rare books and manuscripts from the 17th century, gospels from the 18th century, silver and wooden crosses and Byzantine icons. The loom on which the first Greek flag was created can also be seen.

The loom on which the first Greek flag was created. Credit: Plucas58 , Plucas58 /Wikipedia Commons

Vineyards have been created for the production of Alypiakos, a red Muscat which was first produced on the island in the 5th century BC. The wine is named after Father Alypos, the fourth abbot of the monastery. Output has increased year on year, some of which is used within the Monastery on religious occasions.

This monastery is not only beautiful and well-kept in its serene environment, but it is also surrounded by tall green trees and built on the edge of a hill overlooking the sparkling blue sea below; all features which transport visitors back to a time long ago when the revolution of 1821 brought independence to Greece.

Also, another crucial role Evangelistria played during the war against the Ottoman empire, is that the monastic community offered the revolutionists shelter in the monastery.

The Evangelistria Monastery is now a prime tourist destination that people from all over the country and world come to see and learn the rich stories of the birth of modern-day Greece.

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