CHURCHES AND MONASTERIES FROM CHRISTIAN TIMES IN ARGOLIS
The starting point is the church of Agios Nikolaos in Iraio, followed by Agios Sotiras in Anyfi. The next stop is Plataniti, for the two churches of the Metamorphosis of the Sotir and Koimisi of the Theotokos. The tour continues in Agia Triada at the church of the Koimisi of the Theotokos. Then, on to Lefkakia, for the church of Agios Ioannis. If you make a small diversion from the main roads, you can continue towards the Monastery of Metamorphosis in Agia Paraskevi. Finally, on returning to the main roads and heading towards Iria, you meet the church of Agios Nikolaos, and then, after the village of Stavropodi and via an especially rough road, you will reach the impressive Monastery of Agios Dimitrios Augos.
Estimated time for the tour: 1 day.
(Note: The stated time for the suggested route is determined by the time spent at the churches and monasteries.)
The church of Koimisi of the Theotokos [dormition of the Virgin] is one of the most important Byzantine monuments in Argolis. The church is of the complex four-column cross-in-square type with a dome. The church has all the characteristics of the important Mid-Byzantine churches in Argolis (the catholicon of the Monastery of Nafplio, Koimisi of Agia Triada, Panagia of Argos).
This church, which is known as 'Agia Sotiria', is located in the fertile area of the Argolic plane, on the road from Chonika (now Neo Heraio) towards Anyfi.
This small church belongs to the relatively rare type of compact cross-in-square. The small scale of the church, its carefully laid masonry and 'Athenian' style dome, with its limestone cornices, add a sense of grace and elegance to the monument, which dates from the first fifty years of the 12th century.
A few metres south east of the church of the Metamorphosi of the Sotir [Transfiguration of the Saviour], in the central square of the village, is the church of the Koimisi of the Theotokos. The church is one of a group of churches of the same type that were built in Argolis at the end of the 17th century, during the time of the second Venetian occupation.
At the south edge of the village is the Franko-Byzantine church of the Koimisi of the Theotokos, one of the greatest medieval monuments in Greek territory. The question of its founding and chronology has been at the centre of archaeological research for decades.
The monastery of the Metamorphosi of the Sotir is located in an isolated position, around 3km from the village of Tselo (modern Agia Paraskevi), and south west of Asini, with a view of the Karathona Bay. The monastery was in operation until 1834.
The monastery was built in the steep Rado Gorge. It is a three-storey monastery complex, consisting of cells and other areas adjacent to the catholicon [monastery church], and are shaped to fit into the hollows of the steep natural rock that dominates the valley.