Monastery of Zerbitsa

In the eastern foothills of Taygetos, on a verdant plateau south of Xirokambi, is the historic Monastery of Zerbitsa, dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.
According to the founding inscription which is located on the lintel of the main church, the Monastery was founded in 1639, probably over an older Byzantine church of the Virgin Mary, (according to local tradition the history of the monastery dates back to the 12th century).

The monastery was stavropegic and flourished after 1690. It was an important center for copying manuscript codes. In 1770, during the events of Orlofika, the monastery was toched. Because of its role in the revolution of 1821 , it was torched again 1826 by Ibrahim's army, Aster its restoration, the monastery housed the local school and an orphanage.

The complex of the Monastery is surrounded by a high wall and looks like a fortress. Inside the complex, in addition to the original buildings there are new facilities, cells, auxiliary rooms and many chapels. The plane tree of the Monastery, with its large trunk and huge branches gives its shadow to the visitors. The main church, in the middle of the courtyard, is a cross-in-square church of the Mount Athos type, with an octagonal dome and rests on four columns. Externally, the walls have a rich ceramic decoration and incorporate older architectural fragments. The interior of the church is has many frescoes that date to 1669 and according to the founding inscription were sponsored by the lord Emmanuel of Constantinople.

The frescoes have the style of the popular artists of the 17th century and are considered works of an unknown student of the painter Dimitrios Kakavas. The miraculous icon of Panagia Vrefokratousa is prominent inside the church, enthroned in the left shrine inside a wooden box, framed by silver lining. The monastery has a museum, with important relics, icons, wood carvings, silversmiths, a gold-embroidered epitaph of 1539, a banner of 1639 and relics of Orthodox Saints. The Monastery of Zerbitsa is a women’s monastery and celebrates on the 23rd of August.