Filerimos Monastery

Ialysos, Greece

When Christianity first grew its roots in Greece, many of the ancient cult sanctuaries were transformed into churches. At that time the Filerimos temple was converted into an early Christian three-aisled basilica dedicated to Virgin Mary. The castle of Filerimos was constructed by the Byzantines in the 11th century.

The church is well known since for housing the icon of the Virgin of Filerimos. Attributed to St. Luke the Evangelist, the icon was brought in to Rhodes during the 13th century, probably from Jerusalem where it remained until 1523. Under the rule of the Knights of St. John a Monastery was built, surrounded by cloisters and cells and a number of chapels. When the island came into the possession of the Ottoman Turks, the icon was taken by the Knights to France and from there to Italy, then Malta and Russia, where it stayed until the 1917 revolution. Since 2002, it has been kept in the Blue Chapel of the National Museum of Montenegro.

The Monastery was destroyed by the Turks. In 1876, various excavations brought into light a Mycenaean pottery, a Doric foundation and the ruins of the Hellenistic temple of Athena Polias. In the ’20s, during the Italian occupation, in the effort to consolidate and justify the Italian presence on the island, a major reconstruction was carried out. They added a Via Crucis (Calvary), a pathway that leads from the monastery towards the south-western edge of the plateau, to a small square with a stunning view dominated by the Mt. Attavyros in the distance. Here an imposing iron Cross stood in the middle. The Cross was later destroyed as it was used by the allied war planes during the WWII as a landmark to hit the airport. Along the right side of the path, stone altars were built with embedded reliefs, depicting scenes of the Passions of Jesus. They even brought a congregation of Capuchin monks but no particular care was taken for the Hellenistic and Byzantine relics.

Today the Monastery remains almost unchanged. A long stair in the entrance leads up an avenue of cypresses and bougainvillea to the cloister and the foundations of the temple. The Early Christian basilica, and the small subterranean Byzantine church are open to the visitors. It is the preferred place by the Rhodians for wedding ceremonies. Stunted pastel cedars form now an archway in Via Crucis, leading to the belvedere where a few years ago a new gigantesque Cross made of concrete, was erected.



Your name


Ialysos, Greece
See all sites in Ialysos


Founded: 11th century
Category: Religious sites in Greece

More Information


4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Andrei (11 months ago)
An ancient church and monastery built on top of even older Ialysos acopolis. The site is well kept, you can enjoy the amazing vistas, and even admire the many peacocks.
Matěj Štos (12 months ago)
Really nice place, worth visiting, but the price for entering the main palace of monastery is 7 euro and thats a lot i think, because theres literally just one building wich has nothing in it. The cross is monumental sight with great view all around the hill, you can see half of Rhodos island and even a part of Turkey from there.
Boris Tomic (13 months ago)
So many peacocks ? here! Monastery is very nice and old. Ruins dated from 3rd century. There is old Byzantium fortification as well. On the other side there is a big cross and the Way of the Cross. Costs 6€ to see the place, worth the visit.
Ondřej Nentvich (2 years ago)
Nice place, mainly the cross on the hill with nice sightseeing around the surrounding. The monastery was nice too, but requires many repairs or is under maintenance.
Mark Herbert (2 years ago)
Fantastic views over North and west of the island from the cross. Good road to get to the car park, perfect to watch the sunset
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Gruyères Castle

The Castle of Gruyères is one of the most famous in Switzerland. It was built between 1270 and 1282, following the typical square plan of the fortifications in Savoy. It was the property of the Counts of Gruyères until the bankruptcy of the Count Michel in 1554. His creditors the cantons of Fribourg and Bern shared his earldom. From 1555 to 1798 the castle became residence to the bailiffs and then to the prefects sent by Fribourg.

In 1849 the castle was sold to the Bovy and Balland families, who used the castle as their summer residency and restored it. The castle was then bought back by the canton of Fribourg in 1938, made into a museum and opened to the public. Since 1993, a foundation ensures the conservation as well as the highlighting of the building and the art collection.

The castle is the home of three capes of the Order of the Golden Fleece. They were part of the war booty captured by the Swiss Confederates (which included troops from Gruyères) at the Battle of Morat against Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy in 1476. As Charles the Bold was celebrating the anniversary of his father's death, one of the capes is a black velvet sacerdotal vestment with Philip the Good's emblem sewn into it.

A collection of landscapes by 19th century artists Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Barthélemy Menn and others are on display in the castle.