Wednesday, 13 December 2017
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Monasteries of Attika (Full-day)

Monastery of St. John the Huntsman
The Monastery of St. John the Huntsman was built during the 12th or beginning of the 13th century.  It’s located on the northern slopes of Mount Hymettus overlooking both the city of Athens and the plains of Messogia. Dedicated to the memory of Prodromos and called "the philosophers" the family name of its founder.

The Monastery of Kesariani
It’s the most famous of all monasteries of Hymettus surrounded by an aesthetic forest which gives you the chance for a brief escape from the city.
It is built on an ancient temple, possibly dedicated to the goddess Dimitra, whose parts can be seen in the yard of the church.  Estimated that it was built around the 11th century and is considered one of the most beautiful Byzantine churches of Athens.
Climbing the hill there are two temples.  The Temple of Taxiarches half ram shackled and a temple, next to the first.  Its estimated that the temple of Taxiarches was built during the Early Christian period, around the 6th century AD and later, around the 10th century, a Byzantine church was built which still remains and divides both ancient temples. T he ram shackled temple was completed during the period of the Franks on the right side with a smaller temple, the Temple of St. Mark.

Asteriou Monastery
The beautiful ‘’Asteriou’’ monastery is an excellent example of Greek religious art standing in a cool, bird inhabited grove of pines and cypresses on the middle site of mount ‘’Hymettus’’ a completely peaceful place dedicated to prayer and worship of God.  The natural beauty of mount ‘’Hymettus’’ is extraordinary.  The small monastery is founded in a quite mountainside to a cross and wooden bench at an altitude of 545 meters enjoying at the same time the attractive view of the capital city of Athens.
However the date of the establishment of the monastery is unknown.  In one version, the name associated with Saint Lucas Steirioti or Asterioti, founder of the homonymous monastery Viotikis who resided for some time in Athens, probably in the monastery.  If the scenario is true, then the foundation of the monastery Asteriou must have been built before the year 1000.

Monastery of St. John Theologos
The Monastery of St. John Theologos lies on the western side of Hymettus.  The Monastery is surrounded by a rectangular yard.  The katholikon is a simple, four-columned, cross-in-square church, while the dome is Athenian. Its foundation is around 1120AD.
Chronologically the construction of the Monastery and the old buildings can not be determined because there is no testimony or evidence for the year or even the century it was built.  The design of the church gives an indication implicitly accepted that it dates back to the 12th century.  The oldest written information on the operation of the monastery is the proof of payments found for taxes in Athens in the early 18th century.  Today the monastery has 15 nuns and celebrates on the 8th May and on the 26th September.

Dafniou Monastery
On the edge of the grove Haidari, on the left of Iera Odos Avenue which remains from ancient times the road from Athens to Elefsina, we find the church which was built on the ruins of a temple sacred to Apollo, and who was named after the laurels brought to the god (Dafni=Laurel), only an Ionic column has survived in the narthex of the church and probably in place of the ancient temple of Apollo Dafneou or Daphni is the fortified Monastery of Dafniou.
The monastery is protected by fortified towers and battlements square enclosure with the two gateways in the east and west side.  Alongside, the four sides of the enclosed fortress but a short distance from them are the remains of buildings, perhaps the original cells.  Inside the fortress dominates the Katholico, the church of the monastery, while to the north are the ruins of the bank (ie dining room).  The Katholico south was tetragonal with arch shaped; wing cells and auxiliary buildings which were renovated and rebuilt several times in one thousand years of existence of the monument, as shown in recent excavations.

Pendelis Monastery or Moni Pendeli
Pendeli Mountain has an altitude of 1109 meters above sea level, is situated in Attica. Rises northeast of Athens.
In an emotive area of the mountain is the monastery of Pendeli, founded in 1576.  At the time of the Turkish occupation it was a Cultural Centre, school and library.  The monastery is dedicated to Virgin Mary.  Particularly striking is the Katholico of the church which is decorated with frescoes.

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