One of the most beautiful monasteries in Greece
Panachrantou Monastery is surely one of the reasons you should definitely visit Andros. It is located high on the north side of Mount Gerakones, “supervising” the area like a fortress in the rocky volumes that embrace it. There are many openings in the rocks and caves, created by the elements of nature. The largest of these caves were formerly used by monks as hermitages.
In the Panachrantou Monastery is the miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary which is said to be the work of the Evangelist Luke. The monastery is also called Saint Panteleimon, mainly by the locals, due to the fact that the sacred skull of the Saint is kept there. It is definitely worth admiring two impressive post-Byzantine wood carvings, the iconostasis and the door of the narthex entrance.
The view from the Panachrantou Monastery is inspiring. You have the feeling that you are flying over Andros, gazing at Chora with the sea in the background. The monastery celebrates on July 27 and August 15. The access to the Monastery of Panachrantos is from the village of Vouni or from the village of Falika (dirt road).
The Panachrantou Monastery of in time
The truth is that there are not many facts about the beginnings of Panachrantos Monastery. According to local tradition and two manuscripts, its beginning is placed in 960 AD. Two monks, seeing a “persistent” light in the place where the monastery is today, set out to explore from the opposite mountain. After a lot of research, they found the icon of the Virgin Mary under a cave and took it with them. The next day the icon had disappeared. The same light appeared again that night.
This happened repeatedly and despite the prayers, the image returned to its original position. The monks then decided to settle permanently in a cave near the site, creating a small hermitage. The reputation of the icon spread. The attraction of several monks created the first Brotherhood.
A promise fulfilled by Nikiforos Fokas returning from a victorious campaign in Crete left a lot of money in Andros and the Panachrantou Monastery. With this money, the monks built the first buildings of the Panachrantou Monastery.