From the “Mount Parnon and Moustos Wetland Management Agency, 2015. Guide for the protected area of Mount Parnon and Moustos Wetland. Nature, Culture, Ecotourism. Astros of Arcadia Parnonas:
The monastery of Malevi is one of the most famous in Arcadia. Built on the slopes of Mount Parnon, at an altitude of 950 m., It is surrounded by dense forest with tree trees. It is located on the road between Astros and Agios Petros and is 26 km from Astros. The monastery owes its name to the highest peak of Parnon, which is known as “Malevos”. Thus, “Panagia tou Malevou” was named “Panagia i Malevi” or simply “Malevi” (For the etymological origin of the word “Malevos” see p. 67). Provided that the date of foundation of the monastery of Malevi is identical with the founding of the other monasteries in the area, it should be placed chronologically at the beginning of the 11th c. As evidenced by a relevant inscription, the current monastery was founded in 1116 AD. by the monk Joseph Karatza, from Sitaina. During the Venetian period, the monastery of Malevi prospered. Before the revolution, the monastery had become a refuge for kleftarmatoles, among them Captain Zacharias Varvitsiotis. In the battle that took place between Greeks and Turks in 1786 AD. the monastery was destroyed. In 1791 AD the monastery is still in operation, despite all the destruction and in 1792 AD. enters it Kallinikos Tsamouris during whose abbotship there was prosperity. Tsamouris, who came from Agios Petros, was an executive of the Friendly Society and had turned the monastery into a hospital. Prince Dimitrios Ypsilantis was hosted here for recovery from tuberculosis. During the following critical years, before and during the Greek Revolution of 1821, the monastery offered great services to the inhabitants of the area and to the fighters.
The monastery today is a huge building complex surrounded by a four-sided enclosure. In the katholikon of the monastery – it is a small single-aisled cross-roofed church with a dome – is the icon of the Virgin Mary. The church, tiled with the octagonal dome resting on a quadrilateral base, has undergone many maintenance operations. In the courtyard of the monastery was inaugurated in 1996 AD. a new church of the architectural form basilica with a dome, dedicated to the Virgin Mary. It has two stone three-storey two-storey belfries on its facade. In the place Pournara, above the monastery, practiced Agios Nilos the Myrovlytis (1616 AD), originating from the neighboring Agios Petros. His memory is commemorated on November 12. Near the monastery is the modern church in his honor. The monastery is dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and celebrates on the 23rd of August, in the “Youth (niamera) of the Virgin”, as the locals say on the feast.
Malevi Monastery, is located on the provincial road Agianni Tripoli, after “Xerokambi” where the famous castle of “Oria” can be seen, before the most picturesque and historic Agios Petros Kynourias
“In the area around the Monastery of Malevi, in Kynouria, lies the only forest in Europe made of cedar trees, which has been declared a protected natural monument and is protected by the Natura 2000 network.
The cedar or juniper or Syrian juniper is a rare species, endemic to the Eastern Mediterranean and found in forests only in Syria. Nevertheless, it is characteristic of the flora of Parnon and in this location it is found in a pure cluster of 740 acres. Other rare plant species have been recorded in the same forest, which confirms the uniqueness of the environment in the area.