The Filosofou Monastery is located in the ravine of the Lousios river, south of Dimitsana. It is dedicated to the Dormition of the Virgin. It is built on the western side of the Lousios river gorge, southwest of Dimitsana and at a distance of one and a half hours on foot from it, while it is 86 km from Tripoli. It consists of two monastic complexes, the old and the new Monastery, which are located a short distance from each other.
The new Monastery of Filosofou was founded in the 17th century (1691) at a distance of approximately four hundred meters from the old Monastery and in a smoother position. In addition to the Katholikos, several cells were also built. The catholicon of the new Monastery was built in 1661, on the initiative of the fathers of the old Monastery, by craftsmen from Epirus.
The Catholic Church is a small and square elegant building with an octagonal dome and four monolobed windows. Internally, the dome rests on four arches resting on columns. The interior of the church is decorated with frescoes, which constitute an important painting ensemble. The iconostasis is carved in wood with excellent decoration and carries images of Cretan style attributed to the painter Victora (1663). The church was painted in 1693 at the expense of "Mavraidis-pasha Farmakis" from Stemnitsa, who had converted to Islam, but reverted to Christianity during the Venetian occupation. An image of the sponsor exists on the west side of the church (in the form of a typical Anatolian with a blossy style, luxurious clothes and rosaries) next to Saint Helen. Among the hagiographies, the Byzantine figures of Saints Peter and Paul, as well as figures of various saints, stand out. The external masonry of the temple is decorated with serrated bands, as well as built-in reliefs and clay plates from Asia Minor. Above the entrance there is a nice bell tower made of ashlar. In the courtyard are the cell building, the ossuary and a fountain at different levels.
From the middle of the 17th century, the "School of Dimitsana", a school of Gortynian clergy, was operating in Nea Moni, one of the most important priestly schools in the Ottoman Empire. He highlighted a multitude of teachers, priests, preachers, monks, senior clergy, as well as leading figures of the Church. Its graduates were four patriarchs of Jerusalem, two Ecumenical Patriarchs, many high church men (Gregory V, Germanos of Old Patras), a total of 80 metropolitans and seven patriarchs. The Monastery was a center of spiritual resistance during the years of the Turkish occupation. In 1764, the school was dissolved and moved to Dimitsana, which took over its spiritual activity. The Monastery continued to function until 1834, when it was dissolved by decision of the Bavarian Regency.
The beautiful church of the Dormition of the Virgin, which preserves many 17th-century hagiographies of exceptional art, is preserved from the New Monastery today, as well as the guest house, which has undergone many repairs from time to time. It should be noted that from the year 1992 the monastery began to be radically renovated, under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture. Today the new Monastery, largely renovated, functions together with the old monastery as a share of the Holy Forerunner Monastery.
The new Monastery is connected to the Old one by a preserved path, which then leads to the Monastery of Timiou Prodromou. Road access to Nea Moni is available from the village of Markos near Zatuna, from Dimitsana via Paleochori and from Elliniko.
Source: UNIVERSITY OF PATRAS