The monastery of the Holy Theotokos, also known as Paleokastritsa Monastery, is one of the oldest in Corfu, dating to 1225. The reasons for visiting this monastery are two-fold. Set on the top of the cape, the views from the monastery are stunningly dramatic and indescribably beautiful. Perhaps the most visited of the island’s religious sites, due to its amazing position, it is also steeped in history.
It is built on the western side of the central bay of Paleokastritsa. Access to the monastery is by way of a steep, narrow road there starts from the main beach and winds its way through lush, green groves of tall cypress and olive trees. Pedestrians and vehicles share the road, so caution should be taken. Please note that there is a traffic light, which should not be ignored, as the road is one-way traffic only.
The main section, that of the Church, dedicated to the Holy Virgin Mary, and the monk’s cells were added in the 18th Century. Inside the monastery is a courtyard with a portico and a modern building which houses a small museum of Byzantine and post-Byzantine icons, books, souvenirs and memorabilia. For those interested in anthropology, there is also the very impressive, massive skeleton of a whale, which is said to have been killed by a fisherman in the 19th century.
On the lower level are the old olive press and shops with local products on sale namely wine, kumquat preserve, Kumquat liqueur, jams and Limoncello (lemon liqueur).
Dress code is expected to be modest; woman’s shoulders and bare legs to be covered. Skirts and shawls are provided at the entrance to the monastery for those inappropriately attired. Please note that there is the monastic code of silence which is also to be respected.References:
Monte d"Accoddi is a Neolithic archaeological site in northern Sardinia, located in the territory of Sassari. The site consists of a massive raised stone platform thought to have been an altar. It was constructed by the Ozieri culture or earlier, with the oldest parts dated to around 4,000–3,650 BC.
The site was discovered in 1954 in a field owned by the Segni family. No chambers or entrances to the mound have been found, leading to the presumption it was an altar, a temple or a step pyramid. It may have also served an observational function, as its square plan is coordinated with the cardinal points of the compass.
The initial Ozieri structure was abandoned or destroyed around 3000 BC, with traces of fire found in the archeological evidence. Around 2800 BC the remains of the original structure were completely covered with a layered mixture of earth and stone, and large blocks of limestone were then applied to establish a second platform, truncated by a step pyramid (36 m × 29 m, about 10 m in height), accessible by means of a second ramp, 42 m long, built over the older one. This second temple resembles contemporary Mesopotamian ziggurats, and is attributed to the Abealzu-Filigosa culture.
Archeological excavations from the chalcolithic Abealzu-Filigosa layers indicate the Monte d"Accoddi was used for animal sacrifice, with the remains of sheep, cattle, and swine recovered in near equal proportions. It is among the earliest known sacrificial sites in Western Europe.
The site appears to have been abandoned again around 1800 BC, at the onset of the Nuragic age.
The monument was partially reconstructed during the 1980s. It is open to the public and accessible by the old route of SS131 highway, near the hamlet of Ottava. It is 14,9 km from Sassari and 45 km from Alghero. There is no public transportation to the site. The opening times vary throughout the year.