Monastery of St. John the Baptist – Dimitsana

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If you ever find yourself in Dimitsana or the surrounding area, you must visit the monastery of St. John the Baptist.

It is worth a visit even if you are not a very religious person.

As you will walk down the path, remember to stand for a second and raise your eyes above. The sight you will see can only be described with one word: Awe!

One question will then inevitably pop in your mind:

How is it even possible that they managed to construct something like that in the 16th century? How and with what means did they built a monastery literally hanging from a cliff?

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DIRECTIONS TO THE MONASTERY  

Starting the route from Dimitsana, you follow the road to Stemnitsa and just before arriving to the village you will see a sign on your right.
You turn on that road and drive on until you find an opening. You then park the car there and continue on foot. It is an easy trail as long as you are equipped with the proper shoes. You will be walking inside the canyon of Lousios that is flourishing with beautiful vegetation, so the time will fly in a breeze while admiring the scenery.

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THE MONASTERY DURING THE AGES

The monastery was built in the 16th century and played a major role in providing the Greek fighters for the Revolution of 1821. At the same time it was used as a hospital and offered shelter to those persecuted by the Turks.

In 1776 the monastery was attacked by Albanians and in spite of being filled with unarmed civilians -mostly women and children- it was [miraculously να το βαλουμε αυτό εδώ?] rescued.

In 1838 along with other 400 monasteries throughout Greece the monastery was forcefully shut down, only to open back again after 4 years.

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INSIDE THE MONASTERY OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST

Walking through the door as you enter the monastery, there is a stone-built stair of around 15 steps that leads you inside the rock. On the walls the aged hagiography captures your eyes.

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You will also find there the reception area where you will be treated with water, Greek coffee and Turkish delight that will help you regain your energy after the long walk here.
The monastery is inhabited by 5-6 monks and their Abbot.
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Going up the next stairs you will find yourself to the dining area and through there to the balcony where the view is breathtaking.

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trapeza-monastiriou
As I wandered up and down the stairs I stumbled upon a door that was half closed. I pushed it open and found myself inside the charnel house.
It was full of skulls from the monks that served here during all the past years.
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On my way out I stood again and raised my eyes…

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Awe!

The monastery of St. John the Baptist is a destination worth visiting when you find yourself in northern Arkadia.

Opening hours are 8.00-13.00 for the morning and 17.00-20.00 for the evening.

If you have already visited the monastery, please do share your experience in the comments below.
If you are looking for the perfect accommodation at the best price, then visit here.
If you are looking for a travel guide, this is by far the best.
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