In the village of Nisi Imathias, near Alexandria and next to Valto, there was the monastery of Saints Anargyros Cosmas and Damianos. From the monastery, only the catholicon, i.e. the church of the monastery, is preserved today.
Tradition says that in a sea turtle shell, the relics of the Saints Anargyri were miraculously found. The spot where the relics were discovered is today occupied by the Holy Altar of the monastery church.
Initially, a small church was built in this place, while later the monastery was founded.
In 1813, a new monastery church was built, the one that survives today, at the main entrance of which the building inscription is preserved.
However, the existence of an older church is attested by various sacred and liturgical vessels earlier than 1813, as well as the references to the monastery in manuscripts of the 18th century. Over time, an abbot's house, an inn, warehouses, cells, etc. were built around the church. A high stone wall was built around the perimeter to secure the monastic complex, which has two entrance doors, one to the east and one to the west.
Inside the church, and more specifically, in the part of the woodblock artistic ceiling that is above the iconostasis, four depictions of the monastery are preserved painted on wood, with a background of rich vegetation, while in one of them the Tomba can be seen in the background.
During the Turkish occupation, the monastery was a national, religious and educational stronghold of the region. The Monastery of Saints Anargyro flourished mainly in the 18th and 19th centuries, while the relics of that period reveal a long-term spiritual link with the Imperial Monastery of Saint Catherine of Sinai.
Among the Holy Vessels, the octagonal reliquary of Saint Catherine with the well-known Sinaitic representation of the three peaks has a prominent place. It is an imitation of the original reliquary of Sinai, where the Holy Cara of Saint Catherine is kept.
There are also many liturgical utensils and books, as well as two manuscripts, one with a sequence of Saint Modestos "1773 under Damianus monk" and the other a small prayer book with additions from different periods.
Also of particular religious and artistic value are the woodcarvings of the Despoticus of Bimothira, the Holy Altar with also a woodcarved sky, the Vault of the Holy Relics, the Pulpit, the cross on the iconostasis, the woodblock artistic ceiling on the three aisles of the church.
This old church of Agioi Anargyro is a three-aisled basilica with a wooden roof and internally it is divided into three aisles with two colonnades, each row having 6 columns. The church is built according to the style of the churches built during the Turkish rule in Rumluki.
Above the main entrance, on the western side of the church, there is the building inscription, while above it there is an iconostasis with a fresco of Saints Cosmas and Damianos.
The main church is separated from the Sanctuary by a wooden screen. The floor is paved with white tiles. The ceiling is wooden while in the middle aisle it is higher than on the sides. Panels are formed, which are covered with panels bearing decorations from the plant cycle. In the side aisles, the ceilings are decorated with simple geometric shapes. Above the arched portico of the central aisle and on the north and south inner sides of the sides, there are metal plates with the various Saints painted on them. Outside the temple there is the loggia or narthex of the Macedonian churches.
Editor: Fotini Anastasopoulou