The monastery of Kastritsa, which is dedicated to the Assumption of John the Baptist, was built around the 11th century or 1196. The monastery's catholicon is a rare type of church with a square cross plan and an octagonal dome. Internally, the temple is covered with beautiful 17th century hagiographies. In the later pronaos with today's single-gable roof, there are no frescoes. The despotic images of Christ, the Virgin Mary and the Forerunner are placed on the wood-carved iconostasis.
The monastery of Kastritsa is one of the best known monasteries of Epirus. In the past, it showed great economic prosperity while owning estates in the surrounding villages (in Barkoumadi, Koutselio, Frastana, and Mylo tis Voinikova). It was looted several times during the 18th and 19th centuries (in 1789, 1654 and 1879). It was later expropriated by the state and turned into an orphanage in 1916. It eventually became a monastery again. During the last looting of the monastery in 1932, when the previous Dorotheos was murdered, the monastery was abandoned.
It was renovated and reintroduced in 1972, regaining its former glory. In the Kastritsa monastery, in addition to the temple, there is also a covered rainwater tank as well as a two-story building with cells and a guest house, a reception hall, a library, an exhibition of weaving and embroidery, a workshop with looms. The chapel of the monastery is dedicated to the memory of the new martyrs St. Georgiou, of Ag. John of Terovitis and Cosmas of Aitolos.
A festival was and continues to be held in the monastery, where many people flock from the surrounding area. Today, Kastritsa is an active nunnery, while its catholicon has been classified as a listed building.
Editor: Fotini Anastasopoulou