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The Holy Monastery of Corona, dedicated to the Holy Virgin, is situated in a lush acorn and chestnut forestland on a mountain slope belonging to the Agrafa Massive. It lies south of Messenikolas near Tsardaki on the eastern shore of Plastiras Lake and can be reached by the old Karditsa – Agrinion motorway. The visitor can afford a breath taking spectacle of the Thessalian plain and the distant mountains of Olympus, Ossa, Pelion and Tymphrestos.

The monastery acquired its name from the surrounding location Corona, i.e. crown, which, because of its 2.600 foot altitude, crowns the plain of Thessaly. The monastery was founded by the Byzantine emperor Ioannis Comnenos II, in the early 12th century A.D., after the discovery of the miracle-working icon of the Holy Virgin. The icon has survived through the long years and is still devoutly kept in the monastery church. The monastery was devastated by barbaric raids in the 16th century and was soon thereafter rebuilt by a certain Andreas Bounos. The church itself did not suffer considerable damage and still exists in excellent condition, built in the Mt Athos order and dedicated to the Birth of the Holy Virgin.

The frescoes decorating the inner of the church date to the 16th century and were elaborated by a monk named Daniel Azevktos (Unpaired). The frescoes are characterized by the gravity of the saints’ faces and the rich folds of their clothing. The iconostasis (the dividing icon screen between the sanctum sanctorum and the nave), considered one of the best masterpieces of folk art in Thessaly, belongs to early 1700 and was created by common woodcarvers coming allegedly from Epirus. The motifs of the iconostasis are inspired from nature. The icons date to between 16th and 18th centuries.

At the end of the first half of the 16th century, a monk named Seraphim took the monastic vows at Corona and later he became archbishop of the Fanarion and Neochorion diocese. Seraphim is a great local figure of the Church , because he was charged by the Turks as an insurgent against the Ottoman Empire and consequently tortured and murdered at Fanarion, Kardita, the seat of the diocese, on 4 December 1601. Since he became a martyr of the faith, he has been canonized by the Greek Church and his memory is celebrated on 4 December. No one knows what has become of his body, but his holy skull is still devoutly kept in a reliquary in the church of the monastery for the adoration of the faithful. That is why St Seraphim is considered the patron saint not only of Corona but also of the city of Karditsa itself.

The monastery, save its church, was burnt by the Nazis for harboring fighters of the Resistance. Today the monastery still prospers and the restoration of the south wing of the complex is soon expected to be completed.


Corona Monastery, Τel.: 24410 95214, e-mail:: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

The monastery is daily open:

1 Oct - 31 Μarch, visiting hours: 9:00 - 13:00 and 15:00 - 17:00

1 April – 30 September, visiting hours: 9:00 - 13:00 and 17:00 - 19:00.

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