The historical monastery of Timi Prodromos dominates over the left bank of the Lousios river. It is built at the base of a high and wild rock and is located almost opposite the Philosofou Monastery while it is 39 km from Tripoli.
According to historical evidence, the monastery was founded in the 16th century and is one of the largest and most historic monasteries in the Peloponnese. It is a male monastery and has the most monks compared to the other monasteries of Arcadia. According to tradition, its foundation dates back to the middle of the 12th century (1167).
The Catholic Church of the monastery is built in the cavity of the rock, has the shape of a vaulted Basilica and has hagiographies on the outside. In earlier times, it is assumed that there was probably a hermitage at this point.
The frescoes of the catholicon, despite the damage, are remarkable and according to Fotis Kontoglou, they date back to the 16th century and are the work of an iconographer of the Cretan school. In fact, they are considered to have been made by Theophanes the Cretan and Moschos. The Monastery has a remarkable library with important theological and philosophical books. Old photographs and letters of Kolokotronis are kept and exhibited in the Abbot and Archontariki.
A little outside the Monastery on a small hill is built the chapel of the miraculous Saint Athanasios the Young, Bishop of Christianoupolis, patron of the monastery, where part of his relics are also kept. The location of this small temple offers a panoramic view of the Lousios river gorge and Ancient Gortyna. Also in the area of the monastery there is the single-aisled basilica of Saint Andrew and the hermitages of Brigadier General Michael, Saint George, the Transfiguration and Saint Eleftherios.
Almost from its foundation, the Monastery belonged to the Ecumenical Patriarchate. In the period of Turkish rule, it experienced great prosperity and contributed significantly to the struggle of 1821. With the financial strength it acquired due to the many dedications and donations it received during the 17th and 18th centuries, it managed to carry out a remarkable charitable work. At the same time, it was a safe haven for the persecuted Greeks after the Turkish raids. In fact, in 1779, the people of Stemniciotes took refuge in this to save themselves after a Turkish raid. The door pierced by volleys at the gate of the monastery is evidence of its siege during this episode. Finally the besieged were rescued and the Turks withdrew.
The participation of the monastery in the revolution of 1821 was multidimensional. It served as a refuge and base for Th. Kolokotronis, Plaputos and other chieftains and as a hospital for the wounded. For the needs of the Race he also offered precious sacred vessels. At the same time, it was a supply center for the besiegers of Tripolitsa. Finally, many of her monks actively participated in the battles. Despite all his great contribution, the monastery was dissolved in 1834, by decree of Othon. However, four years later and after actions of the monks and the residents of the area, it was put into operation again (7.12.1838) by decree again of Othon.
Today the monastery is thriving and attracts many pilgrims. It can be accessed from Stemnitsa, from Dimitsana via Paleochori, from Elliniko and by trekking routes through the gorge. The monastery has guesthouses where the visitor can spend the night.
Source: UNIVERSITY OF PATRAS