Anafonitria Monastery

Zakynthos, Greece

The Holy Monastery of Theotokos Anafonitria in Zakynthos, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, is a Byzantine monument with impressive architecture. It was built in the middle of the 15th century in honor of Panagia Vrefokratoussa (the Virgin Mary the Holder of the Newborn) but took its name after the miraculous icon of the Virgin Anafonitria it is housing. This icon was brought to the monastery from Constantinople when the town was captured by the Turks.

Several buildings are forming this monastery, as well as a tower that was built for defensive reasons and is used today as a belfry. The entrance to the monastery is arched and guarded by a square-shaped defensive tower. The main church of the monastery is situated in the center of the complex and it is a three-aisled basilica. The frescoes of the church are impressive and date from five centuries ago.



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Founded: 15th century
Category: Religious sites in Greece

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4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Eudora (7 months ago)
Lovely ornate ancient authentic building. My apologies as didn't realise interior cameras not allowed.
Flavio Pimentel (11 months ago)
The Anafonitria monastery is a very calm place, excellent to just walk around and relax a bit. You can light a candle inside the small chapel and take a look at the vegetable garden behind the building. There’s a little square near by with a restaurant and some handcraft shops where is worth to pay a visit.
Winch (11 months ago)
Quite a soulful atmosphere in this place and its town. Very spiritual. There is plenty of space to park up but probably wouldn't spend longer than 20 minutes here if you're only sight seeing. There's a restaurant too if you'd like to stay longer!
Pauline Liket (2 years ago)
Free entrance and so beautiful! You can't take pictures inside, but outside is worth it as well. Gorgeous plants and a lot of cats running around that are taken care of by the people that live there. A very cozy town, friendly people!
Imre Kovács (3 years ago)
Ruins of a small monastery, with a nice church inside, which is still intact. You can make some photos, hang out with the local cats, also, there is a nice bar outside with an awesome garden. Most likely you spend 30 minutes here, the whole place is small, not a big area. Oh, and there are donkeys outside, cute and friendly ones.
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The Church of the Holy Cross

The church of the former Franciscan monastery was built probably between 1515 and 1520. It is located in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Old Rauma. The church stands by the small stream of Raumanjoki (Rauma river).

The exact age of the Church of the Holy Cross is unknown, but it was built to serve as the monastery church of the Rauma Franciscan Friary. The monastery had been established in the early 15th century and a wooden church was built on this location around the year 1420.

The Church of the Holy Cross served the monastery until 1538, when it was abandoned for a hundred years as the Franciscan friary was disbanded in the Swedish Reformation. The church was re-established as a Lutheran church in 1640, when the nearby Church of the Holy Trinity was destroyed by fire.

The choir of the two-aisle grey granite church features medieval murals and frescoes. The white steeple of the church was built in 1816 and has served as a landmark for seafarers.