The monastery of Agios Athanasios Sfinitsis is built on a green slope of Pieria near the village of Agathia. Although tradition supports an earlier date for the establishment of the monastery, the existing evidence leads to the conclusion that it was founded in the mid-18th century.
The history of the monastery is quite rich, as it joined forces with the freedom fighters of the Greeks during the national uprising of 1821, giving its own fight as a result of which it was set on fire by the Turks in 1822. After the Asia Minor disaster, the monastery functioned
as orphanage offering shelter to approximately three hundred orphaned refugee children. The monastery was also damaged by the earthquake of 1928. In the 1950s, the first attempts to restore it were made.
Today the monastery has been radically renovated with the efforts of recent years which are still ongoing, while it functions normally as a women's monastery.
The monastery is surrounded by a towering white wall with battlements and resembles a small Byzantine fortress. At the entrance of the monastery, which is closed by a huge old door with a hatch, there is a beautiful fountain with pure spring water. Passing inside the monastery, one sees the catholicon built with hewn stones surrounded by greenery and beautiful flowers.
A series of various stepped levels leads to the outer narthex of the temple with its huge bell and wooden cloister. The interior of the church is dominated by the impressive wood-carved throne, the well-crafted doors and the composition of the Crucifixion on the iconostasis. These pieces of high woodcarving art remained in the temple to remind of its ancient splendor.
From the temple one can go to the second official space of the monastery, the mansion. The mansion is also a renovated and well-kept space. Above the manor is the "avato", the cells of the monks.
Editor: Fotini Anastasopoulou