At an altitude of 600m, on a branch of the provincial road Agios Andreas-Monis Artokostas-Prastos is the men's Monastery of Agios Nikolaos Karyas.
The monastery can also be reached from Tyros and Vaskina.
The architecture of the monastery is strongly reminiscent of the monasteries of Mount Athos. According to tradition, it was built in 1580 AD by monks who had come from the Karyes of Mount Athos and fled there to be saved from pirates. However, another version is mentioned, according to which the foundation of the monastery took place in 1620 or 1621, according to a Turkish document from 1621.
The roof of the monastery is covered with slates that come from Mount Malevo. The monastery's catholicon is surrounded by loggias. The church of the Monastery is of the Agioreite type in the architectural form of an inscribed cruciform with a dome. The dome, which is disproportionately large compared to the main building of the temple, is twelve-sided and covered in slate slabs. The canonization was done in 1638 by the Nafplion brothers Georgios and Dimitrios Moschos. It has been made in horizontal zones and includes figures of saints and apostles, as well as martyrdoms of saints, which preserve the ascetic Byzantine style but without the use of perspective.
The carved walnut iconostasis is elaborate, with carved floral decorations and wonderful inlaid images of Byzantine style. The images are characterized by a harmonious combination of warm and cool colors, the figures of the saints are strict and rendered with geometric balance, with dark earthy faces that blend harmoniously with the dark panel, while cobalt blue color is used to "fill" the depth which and creates a contrast with the golden halos and "finishes" of the fabrics. The icon of Saint Nicholas is said to be very old and distorted by time. Entering the church, the believer is surrounded by an imposingly oppressive atmosphere, as the lighting of the catholicon is still done only by candles.
Also worth noting is the floor of the temple, which is decorated with plaques bearing reliefs of folk art (a lion, a bull, a double-headed eagle and a winged demon) in a hexagonal frame.
In 1622, the monastery was declared stauropigian, i.e. directly under the jurisdiction of the Patriarch. In 1770 it was destroyed by Albanian raiders, while in 1826 it was burned by Ibrahim's troops. He strengthened the Struggle of 1821, providing a loan to the Peloponnesian Senate and financially supported the construction of schools by Kapodistrias. In 1970 he became a sharer of the Loukos Monastery. Today it has two monks who spend the winter in the monastery's metochi in Tire and Agios Ioannis in Leonidio.
The monastery celebrates on December 6. But it also celebrates in the summer on July 8, because in the winter its place is not easily accessible.
Editor: Fotini Anastasopoulou