Agios Andreas Monastery

Kefalonia, Greece

The Monastery of Agios Andreas in Kefalonia was founded during the Byzantine era but was reestablished in 1579 when Apostle Andrew started a small nunnery at this place. It was then privately owned by three spiritual sisters, Benedict, Leondia, and Magdalen. The monastery received a large amount of money in 1630 from the Greek Romanian princess, Roxanne, who later was renamed Romila, to live the life of a nun. If Roxanne's treasure contributed to the reconstruction of the monastery, the spiritual treasure of Mount Athos further glorified the place.

The British and the nuns had a troublesome acquaintance during the early 19th century as the British seldom interrupted the divine services at the monastery. In the year 1832, the monastery's beautiful frescoes were covered with asbestos by the British as a sign of their fury at a constant non-abiding attitude of the monastery.

In this nunnery, a weekly Holy Mass takes place on Sunday, though solemn vigils are performed regularly. The nuns participate in making bishops' officiating robes, handicrafts, and gardening. The celebrations at the nunnery take place on the Friday after Easter and on the feast day of Saint Apostle Andrew on the 30th of November.

The monastery has an associated church located in the old Katholikon of the nunnery and is the only building surviving from the monstrous earthquake of 1953. The major attraction in the 1988 established museum by the then Metropolite Spyridon are the Holy remains of the right foot (sole) of Apostle Andrew. The museum has treasures belonging to 1300-1900 AD and includes belongings from the abandoned churches of Kefalonia as well.

Some of the valuable treasures to be seen at the museum include: Agios Panagis or Priest Basia's shirt; two handwritten epistles from Agios Kosmas Aetolos dated to 1777; the Archiepiscopal sakkos embroidered by the Nun Theodora Kanali from Metaxata in the years between 1715 and 1721; the hieratic sceptre and the Communion Cup (Pastoral Staff and Chalice) of his Holiness Nicodemos II Metaxas and Archbishop of Kefalonia, the founder of the first Greek printing press in Constantinople in the 17th century; and the Shroud of the National Martyr and Patriarch of Constantinople Gregorios the fifth.

Among other display, pieces are wall paintings, icons, and frescoes from the church of Milapedia. Of special mention is the painting of the nun Romila with her parents. Also on display are the handworks of nun Romila, which are masterpieces because of the finely sewn golden embroidery.



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Peratata, Kefalonia, Greece
See all sites in Kefalonia


Founded: 1579
Category: Religious sites in Greece

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User Reviews

Φανή Κουρκουμέλη (11 months ago)
Very interesting tour with a lot of information
ana tavares (2 years ago)
Here are gathered all religious art from churches and places destroyed in the island by the earthquake of 1953. There are 2 churches, the old and a new one. Very beautiful place just 20 minutes driving away from Argostoli. From there it is possible to see the St. George fortress build during the Venetian empire.
kefalonia taxi (2 years ago)
One of the best places to visit. So peaceful, nice and tranquil. Nice view to St George Castle from there
Mariela Nordell (2 years ago)
The monastery of St Andrew has a small church, museum and a nice monastery complex. The feet of St Andrew is in the church.
James Walker (2 years ago)
Beautiful and simple Greek Monastery with a shrine to the Apostle Andrew which contains his crucified foot.
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