We meet the Monastery of Panagia Artokosta as we cross the rocky slopes of Mount Parnon in the direction of Prastos.
At a distance of 3 km. NE of the Monastery there are the ruins of the old Monastery, known as Kato Panagia which probably dates back to the 12th century. Unknown why, this Monastery was abandoned and later the new one was built in the 17th century, specifically in 1617. In 1727 the tower and some cells were renovated. In 1826 the monastery was set on fire by Ibrahim and destroyed. In 1865, the existing church was erected by Lenidian craftsmen.
Since 1982 it functioned as a women's monastery, but today it functions as a men's monastery after a sad adventure.
The name of the Monastery - old and new - is Artokostas. It is noteworthy that the original Monastery of Panagia was the largest and most important Monastery of Tsakonia.
The icon of Panagia Brefokratoussa is of great interest. This icon came into the hands of the Venetians in 1460 during the conquest of the Peloponnese by the Turks, so it was transferred to the Venetian-occupied Nafplio. During the expulsion of the Venetians, the icon was transferred to the Augustinian Monastery, where it remained until 1597.
The building complex of the new monastery is large and imposing, It is surrounded by several continuous buildings with turrets and porches, as well as loggias. The catholicon is a cruciform church with a dome. The iconostasis is simple but adorned with images of excellent art. The frescoes of the temple are recent. Heirlooms and relics are kept in the Sanctuary. The courtyard of the monastery is beautiful with the theoretical arbor, flower pots and flower beds with fragrant flowers.
The Library, the important documents and the patriarchal seals of the 13th century onwards bear witness to its centuries-long history.
Editor: Fotini Anastasopoulou