The monastery of Agios Nikolaos Stratigopoulos or Dilios is located on Lake Ioannina. It is built on the north-eastern side of the Island and is located a short distance from the monastery of Philanthropines. It consists of the catholicon and a two-story cell built into its western side, surrounded by a wall in the form of an enclosure, which also encloses the ruins of older cells and auxiliary spaces.
The monastery of Stratigopoulos or Diliou was probably founded in the 13th century. from the Byzantine family of the same name, which settled in Ioannina in 1204, after the capture of Constantinople by the Franks of the Fourth Crusade. The Stratigopoulos family is known from the sources for the positions held by its members in the city of Ioannina. Later, during the 17th c. the Dilliou family also beneficed the monastery.
The catholicon of the Dilliou monastery, which belongs to the architectural type of the single-chambered church with a wooden roof, is recorded with frescoes from 1542-43, as revealed by an inscription on the south wall of the narthex. In the quadrant of the temple, instead of the established representation of Platytera, the vision of the prophets Ezekiel and Habakkuk is depicted. This representation is dominated by the bust figure of Jesus surrounded by the evangelical symbols. In the semi-cylinder of the arch, the angelic liturgy is depicted as well as the performance of Melismus with the concelebrating hierarchs.
The decoration of the main church is divided into three zones. In the lower one, full-length saints are depicted, mainly soldiers. Two more zones with scenes from the life and Passion of Jesus follow. The narthex is decorated with representations from the life of the Virgin as well as the monumental representation of the Second Coming on the west wall. The decoration of the narthex is completed with the representations of the Baptism in the arkosolio (niche) of the north wall and of St. John Chrysostom as the source of Sophia in the arcosolium of the south wall.
The fresco decoration of the church is the work of a notable artist, who is part of the artistic tradition represented by the painters of the three phases of the Catholicos of the Philanthropic Monastery. The only difference is that it has been more influenced by the artistic tradition of Crete.
Editor: Fotini Anastasopoulou