The historical Monastery of the Panagia (Virgin Mary) of Kathara looks out over the whole island of Ithaki from a height of 556 meters on the south-eastern side of the Homeric mountain of Niritos.
The life of the Monastery begins around 1696 but the history of the Icon of the Nativity of the Theotokos, to which the Monastery is dedicated, is even older and is shrouded within the age-old tradition of the island.
In 1830 the historic monastery had reached its peak as rich donations and offerings were made. This financial strength enabled the monastery to play a significant role in the revolution of 1821, assisting wounded fighters and harbouring others who were being hounded. From 1880 to 1910 the monastery suffered financially. In 1917 the abbot Ierotheos Kallinikos began an effort to renovate the monastery. This was supported by all Ithacans including the ship-owners. This effort was continued by the last abbot Samuel Molfesis. In 1993 the Ithacan monk Theodosios Vlismas settled in the monastery and, to this day, with the assistance of Ithacans everywhere, labours to continue the renovation
The Monastery of the Panagia Kathariotissa celebrates on September 8, the feast day of the Nativity of the Theotokos. A smaller feast day takes place on September 14, the Day of the Holy Cross, when according to tradition and because it is a fasting day, boiled broad-beans are given to the pilgrims.
The whole life of the Island is interwoven with the Kathariotissa and her Monastery. Twice in the past, after the earthquakes of 1928 and in March of 1954, after the earthquakes of 1953, the Icon of the Holy Virgin was transported from her Monastery to Vathy, the capital of the island. All the inhabitants accompanied the procession on foot, a fact that shows that the people of Ithaca place their trust in Her and take courage and hope from Her in their difficult times.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.