The monastery of Prophet Ilias is located on the left bank of Aliakmons near the village of Asomata at a distance of 8 km from Veria. It is one of the oldest monasteries in the area and today only a small church in the architectural style of a single-aisled basilica survives.
We do not know exactly when the monastery was built, but it is likely that it was founded at the end of the 16th century. This dating is based on the one hand on the building inscription that is preserved in the temple and on the other hand on the form of its masonry, which leads to the times of the Turkish occupation.
The building inscription mentions 1570 as the year of the opening of the church and informs us that the church was originally dedicated to the Virgin Mary and not to the Prophet Elias as it is today.
The outside of the temple does not show any particular architectural interest, with the exception of the eastern wall of the sacred step. In particular, the alcove of the sacred step is externally three-sided while it has a decorative zone of bevelled bricks that surrounds all three sides externally.
Although the temple suffered damage over time, it was preserved due to the various repairs and interventions it underwent in the recent past.
Above the lintel of the church's entrance there is a blind arch in which fragments of a damaged fresco of the Virgin are preserved. In the holy step, in addition to the central niche and the niches of the presbytery and the Diakonikos, there are two other niches in the northern and southern parts of its walls.
What gives special value to this small monastery is the few, minimal, but excellent art frescoes preserved in the temple, of which the most remarkable are those of the holy step.
The name of the painter is not known, but the technique leads us to consider that the temple was painted by a painter who had a direct relationship with the environment of the artists who painted many churches in Veria. This is exactly why the frescoes of the Prophet Elias monastery are considered part of the common late Byzantine iconographic tradition that dominated many churches and monasteries of central-western Macedonia.
Little historical information is preserved about the monastery of Prophet Ilias. It is considered probable that the monastery of Prophet Ilias was destroyed during the revolution in Naoussa in 1822, following the fate of the other monasteries in the area.
Today, apart from the monastery's catholicon, nothing remains from the monastery's buildings.
Editor: Fotini Anastasopoulou