Monastery of Panagia Artokostas

 

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 Artokosta or Orthokostas, is the “King Monastery” of Kynouria, with its traditional form preserved. It is located on a verdant slope and among tall cypress trees, on the road between Agios Andreas and Prastos. It is 12 km away from Agios Andreas. Various views have been expressed about its name. According to Venetian documents it comes from the place name “Escorta or Scorta”, which corresponds to the “Chronicle of Morea”. Today, the name Orthokosta prevails. Built at a distance of 3 km northeast of the current monastery is located at Vrisi, the ruined Kato Panagia (Old Monastery, Paleolos eios Epochi) in the ravine of Brasiatis, where today a fountain from the years of early Ottoman rule is preserved with an Islamizing window. The katholikon, an elongated building, as well as parts of the double wall, which surrounded the monastery and shaped its character, are preserved. The traditional square closed shape of the new monastery of Artokosta (which replaced the monastery of Kato Panagia, which was probably destroyed in 1460 AD or later) is formed by two-storey and single-storey buildings with loggias on all sides, while in the center dominates the universal. The katholikon was destroyed by the burning of Ibrahim (1826 AD) and rebuilt on the same site a few decades later (1864 AD). The icons of the original katholikon and its floor (dated according to an inscription in 1627 AD) have been preserved The present church, built in 1864 AD, according to historical testimonies by Leonidian craftsmen, is a four-column inscribed cruciform church with a six-sided dome. Inside stands the wood-carved iconostasis with despotic icons, dating to 1692 AD. and come from the original katholikon of the monastery. The interior of the katholikon is decorated with modern frescoes. The monastery is surrounded by various contiguous buildings with arched openings and doors, basements and anogias with turrets and loggias, while the church has a western bell tower and built-in sculptural decoration. In the Library of the monastery there are important documents and patriarchal sigils dating from the 18th century. The monastery is honored at the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and celebrates on August 23.

astrosgr.com/en / John Koutogiorgas

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