THE MONASTERY OF PANAGIA CHOZOVIOTISSA
are 300 steps that separate the visitor from the entrance
to the monastery. Another 900 years separate him from the
monastery's establishment. That which unites everyone no matter
who visits the monastery is the awe and the admiration for
this important work, a memorial hymn for the human faith and
will. In a rough landscape of unbelievable beauty and wildness,
loyal people overcame their weaknesses and managed what today
is known as a small miracle.
Built upon steep rock cliffs it hangs into an abyss as if
touched by the hand of God.
The monastery was built in 1088 and was renovated by the Byzantine
emperor Alexio Komnino. The reason for the erection of the
monastery was the finding of an icon of the Virgin Mary, which
arrived from Chosovo or Chosova in Palestine. Chosivas or
Koziva's location is found in the Holy lands near Jericho.
The persecutions of the Christians in the 9th Century brought
as by miracle the icon to Amorgos, a location that is said
to have been chosen by the Virgin Mary herself.
The renovation and whitewash of the walls all these years
have covered important information about the history of the
Monastery. During the Venetian rule (1296-1537) many changes
and expansions were made leaving behind hints of western influence.
Not even during Turkish rule (1537-1824) was the monastery's
prosperity interrupted. Its fortune allowed the bribery of
its religious freedom from the Turkish Pashas. The monastery
had shares of Crete, Lero, Naxos, Paros, and Astipalaia as
well as the desert islands Kero, Nikouria and Grampoussa.
Its definition plain.
Austure lanky lines are in tune with the surrounding area.
Even the recent buildings don't alter the characteristic
structure. It is 40 metres in length though its width is
5 metres. Narrow rocky steps lead to the 8 floors and unite
parts of the monastery. Its arches are built with flint
brought from Milos. The use of wood suggests the existence
of forest in the area (particularly forests with certain
types of cypress trees).
The monastery is composed of the monks' cells, the treasury,
the kitchen, its ovens, its storage rooms, rooms for the
bread baking, cellars for wines, rooms for the earthenware
jars with oil as well as the lime pits and the wells.
The furnaces and the cookhouses do not function anymore,
although the treasury opens to the faithful on the 21st
November during the Presentation of the Virgin Mary.
In 1977 three small cells were combined and visitors can
now admire some of the Monastery's heirlooms while at the
same time enjoying the citrus and marshmallow treats.
All it took were some scenic plans from Luc Besson,
specifically a panoramic view of the Monastery for viewers
to be fascinated. The movie and the plot were lost in memories
of film festivals, the heroes faded and were forgotten,
but people were met with one of the rarest, most moving
and powerful places in the world.
When you come across a peaceful sea and get a birds eye
view from the Monastery, then the expression "the big
blue" is not just a cliche, it is something more than
that. It is you.
For those who
like to hike then they can follow the procession of the
Virgin Mary's icon from the Monastery to the villages of
Aigialis and back.
It is a 6-hour walk through the old lanes of the island,
a hymn to nature and faith.
Source: " THE MONASTERY OF PANAGIA CHOZOVIOTISSA"
from the Mistress of Classic Archeology in the University
Jannina Mrs Lila Maragou.