The magnificent temples and historical monasteries of Aigialeia are a pole of attraction for many visitors from all over Greece. Countless are the miracles and thousands of believers, every year, come to worship the icon of Megalochari and many Saints.
Several temples and monasteries are creations of the German Architect Ernesto Chiller, such as the Pilgrimage of Panagia Tripiti, the Monastery of Taxiarches etc.
Apart from the temples located in the city of Aigio, every village – even the most remote – has its patron saint.
The Church of Panagia Tripiti (Zoodochos Pigi) – patron saint of Aigio – is built on a rock above the port of the city and used to be a monastery. One hundred and fifty steps connect the Holy Pilgrimage with the public road. The Holy Icon of Panagia Tripiti is the work of St. Luke and is miraculous.
In 1650 A.D., a castaway looking for land saw a light and when he approached he found the icon of the Virgin Mary, which was illuminating all around. It was the icon of the Great Virgin Mary hidden in the rocky cave. The castaway took the image and the next day alerted the authorities of the city of Aigio. The whole world gathered to worship the image. The castaway became the first ascetic and servant of the Virgin Mary.
Over time the first ascetic develops into a glorious monastery.
The Temple took its present form in the 19th century. It is neoclassical architecture, two-storey and surrounded by ornate gardens.
The main cave in front of which the temple was erected is 11m long, 7m wide and 4m high. In pronaos, from the mouth of three carved angels runs the Holy Water and is poured into a marble basin. In the fountain is engraved the Byzantine inscription: “NIPSON ANOMMATA NOT MONAN OBSIN” which is read and opposite and means “cleanse your iniquities honestly with repentance and not only your appearance on the surface.”
By royal decree of 8may May 1933 the feast of Panagia Tripiti is established as the official religious feast of Aigio (patron saint). Zoodochos Pigi celebrates Easter Friday with a solemn character. The Holy Icon is circucured and litany with the participation of the clergy and the citizens.
Panagia Tripiti is a holy nationwide pilgrimage. Many are the miracles of the Virgin Mary that were made known by confessions, letters of believers as well as publications. Also anyone who visits the pilgrimage for the first time is impressed by the beauty of the landscape. The Holy Pilgrimage remains open until sunset.
On Mitropoleos Street, in the center of Aigio, is the Cathedral of Panagia Faneromeni.
It is the Metropolitan Church of Aigio dedicated to the Assumption. It is the oldest temple of the city and the first smaller temple was built in 1366. The first temple was destroyed by earthquakes (1861) and was rebuilt larger in designs by architect Ernesto Chiller. The church is cruciform with a dome, and combines the neoromantic with the Byzantine style. The church is a special monument with special religious and artistic value for the city.
The Temple of Entrances, which has been made with drawings by Ernesto Chiller, is an architectural work of art.
The original church was built before 1700 AD at the site of an ancient Sanctuary of Hera. So it is perhaps the first holy temple of the city. It is cruciform with a dome and combines the neoromantic with the Byzantine style.
The intricate tiloplastic decorations at the base of the dome and the cornices of the roof are impressive.
During the Venetian period it was called the Virgin Mary of the Aliens, because nearby was the castle of the Varons of Vostitsa.
During the Turkish occupation, Our Lady of The Entrance was the Prostate of Vostitsa and the Metropolis of the city.
The temple of Eisonion is one of the most important monuments of Aigio, but has suffered damage and damage since the earthquake of 1995 and has not been repaired to date.
The Church of Agios Andreos is located in the North West from the center of Aigio (in the old market) and is built before 1700 as demonstrated by the Venetian map of the time. Another old recording of the Holy Church is found in the city plan of the then so-called Vostitsa (Aiyon) with a date of writing in December 1836. During the Turkish occupation the Holy Church was then converted into a “Mosque”.
Today’s Holy Temple is said to be the work of the German architect Ern. Chiller, but it may be the work of the Greek architect Theodoros Diamantopoulos.
The rhythm of the Church is a basilica of cross or cross-shaped, stone-built with tiled decoration in the gables (jagged strips) but also on the walls forming a variety of designs. The bell towers have ceramic armours perforated in the shape of a circle with cross crosses.
The Historical Monastery of Agia Lavra is 5 km away. It was founded in the 10th century by a hermit. It was burned to the full by the Turks in 1585 and 1827 and by the Germans in 1943. It was later rebuilt in its present position and form.
In 1821 it was the center of the National Guard against the Turks with the elevation of Lavaros and the swearing-in of the fighters by the Old Patron Germanos.
The most valuable treasure found in the monastery is the Banner of the swearing-in of the fighters of 1821, the first flag of the Greek Nation, the Epitaph of 1754 embroidered in Izmir, the icon of St. George embroidered in Constantinople by The Kokona of Rologas, gospel donated by the Empress of Russia Catherine II the Great, the golden-embroidered amfia of the Old Father of The German , encoli, carved crosses and relics of saints.
Also among the holy relics is the cara of St. Alexios, patron saint of the Martyrdom City of Kalavryta, which celebrates on March 17th. There are also the cara of Agios Filaretos of Mercimonos, Agios Panteleimonos, Agia Paraskevi, Agioi Anargyroi, etc.
Moreover, very important are the 3,000 forms found in the library of the Monastery from which the oldest dates back to 1502.
The monastery is located on the right bank of the Selinounta River, under the mountain Klo(o)kos, in vegetation and abundant water, at an altitude of 450 m. The monastery is 15 km from Aigio.
The history of the monastery begins with Osios Leontios, who was also the owner of the monastery.
This original Monastery of Archangel Michael was destroyed twice by the Turks in 1500 and 1620. After this second disaster, the Monastery of Taxiarches is built. It was destroyed again in 1772 by the Turks. In 1775 the present form of the Monastery was built. Its katholikon is Cross-schied, tetrakion, arched, with octagonal dome and marble windows.
In the century after liberation, the Monastery experienced very good days. It came to have about 150 monks and only children, while today it has a small number of monks.
In May 1821 the monastery of Taxiarches becomes a food warehouse of various munitions and is still until 1827. After liberation, the solitary community of Taxiarches presents rich action in the spiritual, ecclesiastical and social fields of Greek life. In 1837, the Abbot of the monastery, Meletius Rovitos, founded a Greek school in the monastery where many monks and folk taught with excellent education. In 1880, it was founded with the license of the Ministry of Education, gymnasium that operated until 1926. After the occupation, the monastery of Taxiarchon plays its spiritual role, with the establishment of a Gymnasium – Boarding School that operated free of charge until about 1970 and offered a great deal to the poor children of the countryside.
The monastery has a rich library, a sacrisdo with vestments, as well as silver and gold utensils.
Spiritual treasures of the monastery are the Holy Relics “The Achranda Passions”, (fragments of Timios Wood, Chlamydas, Akanthinou Stefanou, Stones from the Holy Sepulchre) which are a treasure and pride of the monastery. The cara of St. Leontios and the relics of many saints are kept in the Monastery.
Of great value are the holy vestments of clergy of all grades kept in the exhibition of the monastery.
The collection of crosses of the monastery of Taxiarches is the oldest and most remarkable.
The monks of the monastery cultivate a large area of a wheel (special rose) and prepare the famous “rose sugar” and small amount of rose oil throughout Greece.
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In the village of Verino, (at an altitude of 800 m) Built on the mountain of Agiannis, there is a female monastery. It is 14 km from Aigio.
The Monastery is known today as St. John of Chechno. During the Turkish occupation it was a parish monastery and was included in the boundaries of the Metropolis of Old Patras, which were wider than today.. It is thought to have been founded in the 14th century.
On July 17, 1827, the Monastery was besieged by the Egyptian invader Ibrahim, who occupied the Monastery, but did not destroy it. In katholikon of the monastery is preserved an old fresco of Byzantine style, a silver case and holy relics.
In the religious and social fields, however, the Monastery was a reference point for its region, thanks to orthodox worship and the protection it could offer in times of danger.
The reopening of the Monastery was greeted with pandemic joy by the inhabitants of the region, who revere the Apostle and Evangelist John and His Monastery. They consider him a protector of their families and vineyards and tell miraculous events of his living presence.
The three new wings formed along with the old one traditional four-sided Monastery with the Katholikon of St. John in the center. Two chapels, the Yupandi of the Lord and the Birthof the Virgin, crown the two corners of the façade, while in the center a majestic bell tower rises.
The new wings house the cells of the Brothers, the library of the monastery, the synod, the bank of pilgrims, the archontariki, the bank of the Monks, the workshops (hagiography, ecclesiastical embroidery, wood carving, etc.) And the dispensaries.
Sister doctors of the monastery offer free medical services to local residents.
The Holy Monastery celebrates:
3. On 17 July : Historic anniversary of the Battle of Chevu ( 17 July 1827 ). A memorial service is held at Heroo in the presence of authorities and a large number of people.
The Monastery of Agii Apostoli is located in the mountainous area of Aigira (boundary of the Margin), between Seliana and Periperi.
The Monastery of Agii Apostoli is a monastery (since 1955, because before it was a male monastery). Its foundation is placed in the 16th – 17th c. as then the canonization of the temple was done. The monastery of Agii Apostoli, which had a great fortune in the past, in 1834 passed as a metochi in the monastery of Megalo Spilaio. Important, however, are the disasters that occurred over the centuries in the frescoes (extraction of buds), mainly by the conquerors after the failure of the revolution of 1770.
It is definitely one of the most important historical – religious monuments of Eastern Aigialeia.
The Monastery of Panagia Eleousi is located near the village of Pititsa, about half an hour from Patras, in a beautiful forest, under Salmenikos, where there was a fortress during the early 13th century.
Initially, above the village of Pititsa, there was an ascetic in the firs and in a cave, where the Church of the Ascension is now occupied. Later, rather in 1510, the monks built today’s monastery, which operated until 1834, which was considered dissolved. Until 1947 the Monastery was male, since then it became female by Royal Decree. Two nuns in 1947, re-established the Monastery, which operates to this day.
Within the cave, post-Byzantine frescoes are preserved. During the feast of the Ascension, from the feast of the feast, the nuns, faithful from the surrounding areas, go to the cave and operate.
According to tradition, due to the cold, the monks at the time were forced to move to the site of today’s monastery. It is said that the exact place was chosen by the Virgin Mary herself, I expressed in a way her wish: The then Abbot found the miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary right where today the church’s sanctuary is built.
Today in the Monastery survives the miraculous Icon of the Virgin Mary – Eleousa of Kykkos – 17th centuries and holy relics of many Saints are preserved. The Monastery celebrates on August 15th.
Opposite the Monastery of Taxiarches, with the original name “Elpis of apilpimenes”, was the women’s Monastery of Peleenitsis.
The oral tradition has rescued two versions of its foundation:
In the first version, the monastery was built by the mother and sister of Osios Leontios and in the second, by Eleni Palaiologina – wife of emperor Manuel Palaiologos or the daughter of the Despot of Achaia Thomas Palaiologou, named Bebel – Elenitsa and paraphrasing prevailed the “Peppelenitsa”. Another version is that it took its name from the Slavic word peppel which means ash and was used figuratively, as a place of purification of sins.
It was destroyed in 1772 by the Turks, but it is being rebuilt at a higher point for greater security. The monastery, located in a difficult area, was destroyed in the large fires of July 2007. However, it survived the katholikon of the Virgin Mary.
At the end of the 16th century, the Monastery was located in pori or Kolonitis, where the first ascetics were created and the Church of All Saints was formed.
The Holy Monastery of the Holy Trinity was founded in 1936 AD and until 1945 there were monks. It was later destroyed, but after the actions of the Metropolitan of Kalavryta and Aigialeia, Mr. Amvrosiou, it was renovated. On a plateau just above the monastery you will find among large areas of vineyards and the ruined Monastery of Agios Nikolaos. Many unnecessary relics are kept in the Monastery, as well as rare relics, such as a gospel of 1672.
On the right bank of the Selinounta River and near the village lapanagoi, stands the Monastery of Panagia Makellaria which was traditionally built by emperor Justiniano Velissario. The Icon of the Virgin Mary, located in the Katholikon of the Monastery, is a sensation, because from whatever position the pilgrim – visitor looks at the Icon, the eyes of the Virgin Mary will be on it.
Panagia Makelarissa celebrates on August 15th and 23rd. Many believers gather to worship the image and take its miraculous oil.