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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 its walls, hallways, and courtyards.

This historical monastery was first founded in 1794 by a group of monks from Mount Athos. It 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. It was 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.

The Catholicon of the monastery is a Byzantine-style cross-in-square three-aisled church, with three domes, and stands at the center of the complex. The iconostasis is wood carved and bears icons dating from the 17th and 18th centuries.

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. Other artifacts include the gospels from the 18th century, silver and wooden crosses, and Byzantine icons. The loom on which the first Greek flag was created is also housed there.

Evangelistria Monastery Skiathos
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 that 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. These are all features that transport visitors back to a time long ago when the revolution of 1821 brought independence to Greece.

Furthermore, 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, where 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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