The Tsoukas Monastery, which is dedicated to the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, is located on the hill of the same name, near the community of Elliniko in Katsanochoria. It is built on the edge of the cliff in the Straits of Arachthos, while it is surrounded by a landscape of incomparable beauty. According to tradition, the monastery was founded in 1190 by the emperor Isaakios Angelos, who also built a castle, the ruins of which are preserved to this day. At the beginning of the 18th century and probably shortly before 1736, the monastery was destroyed and rebuilt under the protection of Halil Bey.
The catholicon of the monastery was probably built in the 17th century and architecturally belongs to the Athonite type (one-room church with choirs, i.e. with two niches on the north and south sides) with a west facade. Inside the church there is an inscription on the lintel (which today is indiscernible) which states that the church was "historicized" at the expense of the founder Alexios Papaioannou and "gilded" in 1779 by Ath. Ioannou, a priest from Kapesovo.
The frescoes have been covered by soot, but the embossed halos of the figures can be seen. The remarkable wood-carved iconostasis of the church dates back to the 18th century and bears an extraordinary floral decoration. The Monastery has a fortress character. The entrance to the high precinct is decorated with stone carvings. The cells are developed on the south-west and north sides, while there is a cistern to the south-west and a stone spire of 1866, according to an inscription. On the south side of the Monastery, near the eastern entrance, there is the chapel of Panagia, which has suffered considerable damage from a fire.
Editor: Fotini Anastasopoulou