Monastery of Panagia Chrysoleontissa
Aegina is known for its religious tourism and more. Those who deal with it probably know the Monastery of Panagia Chrysoleontissa which is the patron saint of the island. It celebrates on the 15th of August with the biggest festival of the island taking place there.
The monastery was originally located near the seaside village of Leonti, so it was an easy target for those who invaded the island. After successive destructions, the Monastery was moved to another place away from the sea. Today it is located in the center of Aegina and is about one kilometer from the other large Monastery, that of Agios Nektarios. Formerly, the Monastery of Panagia Chrysoleontissa owned most of the island.
Location and special features
Seeing it from afar, the Monastery of Panagia Chrysoleontissa is imposing. It looks more like a fortress than a monastery. It is square, has very high walls and a tower with loopholes because its monks were still afraid of possible invasions.
The Monastery overlooks Paleochora, the Monastery of Agios Nektarios and the northern Saronic Gulf. For many centuries it was the most important monastery of Aegina, hosting the icon of Panagia Chrysoleontissa which is located at the edge of the iconostasis to the north gate of the sanctuary. The wood-carved iconostasis is impressive and if you look closely you will see representations from the Old Testament, figures of angels and saints. The Monastery of Panagia Chrysoleontissa has six chapels, among them the cemetery of Agia Magdalene.
The miracle that connects the Monastery with its location is the fact that when its construction began, the tools left by the workers there, in the morning were in a strange way in its current location. This happened three times, when the monks realized that the monastery had to be built in its current location at the beginning of the 17th century.