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Agioi Pateres - Nea Moni

The route starts from the monastery of the Holy Fathers and following the asphalt road for about two hundred meters, we reach the entrance of the path, where there is the information sign.


Information


Location: Central Chios Type: Hiking on an old stone-paved road.

Degree of Difficulty: Easy Route Length: 1.414 m.

Time: About 30 - 45 min. Drinking water along the way: Yes

Maximum / Minimum altitude: 635 m / 449 m Altitude Difference: 186 m.

Starting Point: Agioi Pateres


The visible path after a few meters gives way to the old cobbled road, very well maintained and relatively wide, which rests on well-preserved dry stone.

Almost the entire length of the route, the stone steps are preserved, which smooth the slope and offer satisfactory accessibility. The route includes successive maneuvers that end at the monastery of Nea Moni.


Almost all the way, we see from above the building complex of the New Monastery and we face the mountain Penthodos and the Holy Monastery of Agios Markos which is built on top of it. The view to the city of Chios and the beaches of Asia Minor is unique.

At the high points of the route the soil is rocky, with sparse vegetation and remnants of burnt pines, while in many places the natural regeneration of the forest is evident.

As we descend, the vegetation thickens. At the ends of the path we see arbutus, wildflowers, vines, oregano, astyphides and many naturally reborn groups of small individuals of rough pine.

Near Nea Moni the landscape changes, as there are olive groves and tall cypress trees.

Before reaching the historic monastery, which marks the end of the route, we pass in front of the church of Agios Loukas, which is the cemetery of the New Monastery.


Agioi Pateres: The Monastery was built in the cave where the three monks, to whom we owe the founding of the New Monastery, Nikita, Joseph and John, swore to dedicate themselves to Christianity. In 1688 the cave was given to the monk Jeremiah, from Crete, who founded the temple. In 1868, the monk Pachomios, from the village of Elata in Chios, requested the buildings and turned them into the largest monastic center of the island. Women are not allowed to enter the monastery after sunset.


Nea Moni: Perhaps the most prominent monument of medieval times in Chios, was founded in the middle of the 11th century. with Byzantine imperial sponsorship. The foundation of the Monastery is connected with a monastic tradition, according to which at the place where the Katholikon was built, a miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary was found by three Chian ascetics, hanging on a myrsine branch.


The ascetics Nikitas, John and Joseph, prophesied that the then exiled in Lesvos Constantine the Gladiator would ascend to the imperial throne of Constantinople and in exchange for their prophecy, they took from the future emperor the promise of a rich position to give her. After the Gladiator ascended the throne, his promise was fulfilled and then the Catholicos was rebuilt and then decorated with mosaics. The mosaic decoration of the New Monastery, a work of artists from Constantinople, is one of the leading creations of the visual arts in Greece during the Middle Ages. In 1049 the temple was inaugurated and the works were completed after the death of the Gladiator in 1055, during the reign of Theodora (1055-1056). In the monastery complex, which is walled with a high enclosure and protected by a defensive tower in the NW corner, the standard layout of the buildings in the monasteries of Byzantine times is followed: in the middle, free on all sides stands the Katholikon, the main church of the monastery, while in a short distance from it is the Bank, the common dining area of ​​the monks in the coenobitic system. The rest of the space is occupied by other communal buildings and mainly by cell wings, dating to the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. From the original complex of the 11th century, the Katholikon, the cistern (tank), the tower, part of the Bank and the church of Agios Loukas in the cemetery of the monastery, outside the wall, are preserved today.


The Katholikon consists of the main church, the inner narthex and the outer narthex, buildings of the 11th century, the bilateral building and the new bell tower of 1900, which replaced an older one of the 16th century. (of 1512). The main church belongs to the octagonal architectural type, the so-called island with surviving specimens only in Chios and Cyprus. Impressive mosaic decoration is preserved in the church. The Bank is an elongated building covered by a slightly pointed arch. To the east it ends in a semicircular arch with a three-lobed window. This arch is almost the only part of the original building of the 11th century. that has been saved. The current form of the rest of the building is due to many occasional interventions and alterations. Inside is preserved the original table of the 11th century. length of 15.70 m., the surface of which is decorated with a marble deposit with marble crusts, similar to those used in the floors and in the orthomarbling of the Catholicos.


The cistern, the water tank, was built with the establishment of the monastery to the NW of the katholikon. It is a semi-cave building of rectangular shape. The tower, the last refuge of the monks in case of a raid and the library of the monastery for some time, is now in ruins. Originally it was a three-storey building while today only the ground floor and the first floor survive. The New Monastery, due to its exceptional importance in terms of Art History and Architecture, belongs to the monuments that have been designated as World Heritage Sites and are protected by UNESCO.




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