Monastery of Agioi Anargyroi

This historic Monastery of Agioi Anargyroi is built 25 kilometers from Sparta at an altitude of about a thousand meters, on a green plateau of Mount Parnon, near the villages of Vassaras and Tsintzina.
The monastery dates back to 881 AD, as evidenced by the life of Saint Elias of Neos or Sikeliotis, who lived as an erimite in the area. Almost three hundred years later, a second testimony is recorded about the monastery, which is the Chrysovoulon (decree) of the emperor Andronikos II Palaiologos, in 1293.

The katholikon (main church) of the monastery is a single-aisled, cross-in-square, church and is typical of the late Byzantine architecture. The frescoes were made by the famous artist family of Kakavas, from Nafplio. The frescoes, more than a hundred, cover almost all of the walls, from the floor to the ceiling. The founding inscription inside the church states that it dates to 1621 and was under the juristiction of Patriarch Cyril Loukareos of Constantinople. Around 1685, the Monastery was destroyed by both the Venetians of Morosini and the Turks. However, the Monastery was rebuilt and continued its important role in the area. The existing wood-carved iconostasis is a work of 1711 and certifies the second period of prosperity of the Monastery. As early as the 17th century, a secret school operated systematically until the liberation og Greece. In July 1826, the monastery was torched by Ibrahim, but the msin church was saved with minimal damage. The charity of the Monastery throughout the centuries has been admirable as in all the difficult times for Greece, apart from being a spiritual centre, it was also a refuge for the people of the surrounding villages, travelers and pilgrims.

The monks of the monastery also participated in the revolution of 1821, as confirmed by the the archives of the rebels that include the names of six monks of the Monastery. Unfortunately, nothing was saved from the many and valuable old monastic treasures as some were stolen and others were looted during the terrible invasion of the Nazi troops in November 1943, during which the monastery was abandoned. The last abbot of the monastery, Archimandrite Nikodimos Groubos (1900-1964), managed to renovate it. Today, after 11 centuries, the Monastery continues its diverse work, faithful to its historical course, thanks to the significant restoration and renovation efforts of the Bishop of Monemvasia & Sparta, Mr. Efstathios. The east wing was rebuilt with traditional stone buildings (chapel of St. Anne, archontariki, library) and an imposing tower, while several cells were renovated and new rooms were created. With these new works, the Monastery was completed giving the impression of a fortress, with all-round buildings and the main church in the middle. The Monastery is honored in the memory of Saints Anargyros Kosmas and Damianos and their mother Theodotus of Central Asia (November 1). It also celebrates the 1st of July on the day of Saint Kosmas and Saint Damianos