9+1 REASONS TO COME TO LESBOS

9+1 CHURCHES AND MONASTERIES

  • The Church of Aghios (Ioánnis) Therápontas (St. John the Healer - Mytilene)
  • The Church of Panaghiá Gorgóna (the Mermaid Madonna - Skála Sykamiás)
  • The Church of Panaghía Glykofiloússa (Our Lady of the Sweet Kiss - Pétra)
  • The Church of the Dormition of the Virgin of Ayiássos
  • The Monastery of neo-martyrs Rafaíl and Nikólaos
  • The Leimonos Monastery or Monastery of Aghios Ignátios
  • The Monastery of Panaghía Myrsiniótissa (Our Lady of Myrsíni)
  • The Monastery of Ypsiloú or Monastery of Aghios Ioánnis Theológos (St. John the Theologian)
  • The Church of the Panmégistoi Taxiárches (All-great Archangels) of Aghía Paraskeví
  • The Monastery of the Taxiárchis Michaíl (Archangel Michael) of Mantamádos

    The «Taxiárchis» (Archangel) is the protector and patron saint of Mantamádos, but is also considered to be the protector of the whole island. It is situated north of Mantamádos, on the road leading to Sykamiá.
    According to tradition, this was a Byzantine monastery that was deserted at an undetermined point in time before functioning once again, including at present, as a parish church. It is an important place of pilgrimage, its fame residing in the miraculous raised icon of the archangel Michael, one of the rare icons in relief in the whole of the Orthodox world.
    Even today, the icon is awe-inspiring with the austere countenance of the Archangel, the large eyes and dark colour -resulting from the icon’s great age and its liturgical use-, the large face, terrific sword and gilt wings.
    The faithful still continue to place before it ex-votos (votive offerings) in the form of iron shoes, a corollary of the tradition whereby the angels’ supreme commander wears such shoes while on guard at night.
    The church’s annual celebration on the Sunday of the Myrrhbearers, two weeks after the Resurrection, comprising a religious feast and a trade fair that draws people from afar, who come on foot to worship and celebrate on the eve of the feast day.

The Monastery of the Taxiárchis Michaíl (Archangel Michael)
of Mantamádos
It's all Greek to me..!

A monastery, says the dictionary, is the place of residence, work and prayer of a group of persons, usually monks, living in seclusion under religious vows. By extension, the term is also used to designate the entire religious community residing in these premises. In Greek, a monastery can refer to either a male or female religious community, whereas in English there is a distinction between convent or nunnery (for a female religious community) and monastery (a community of monks, a term deriving from the Old English munuc, itself from the Latin form of monachus, a transliteration of the Ancient Greek monachós = single, solitary, as initially monks were hermits - another word of Greek origin).

Monastery is a medieval word, first appearing as monastere in Old French and late Middle English c.1350-1400, from the ecclesiastical Latin monastērium, itself derived from the Hellenistic Greek μοναστήριον (monastērion), a noun issuing from the Ancient Greek verb μονάζειν (monázein) = to live alone, from μόνος (mónos) = alone, solitary and the suffix ‑τήριον (-tērion) = a place (for doing something), and initially referred to the abode of a hermit, a hermit’s cell.According to tradition, Christianity was brought to Lesvos in 58 AD by the Apostle Paul and spread over time so that mention to the island’s first bishop, Grigórios, dates back to 325 AD. Although no church or monastery of that time exists, the remains of two Early Christian churches have been found in the vicinity of Mólyvos (Míthimna), while the oldest monastery is that of Ypsiloú, founded in the 9th century.