Kefalonia Churches

Kefalonia, Greece Site map

Kefalonia Churches: The churches of the island of Kefalonia, Greece

  There are many Kefalonia churches on the island. The most famous is the Church of Agios Gerasimos:

The Monastery and Church of Agios Gerassimos
The Monastery of Agios Gerasimos dominates the green “valley of the 40 wells” in Omala, near the villages of Fragata and Valsamata. It is the more sacred and venerable church of the island. The relics of the saint patron of the island, Agios Gerasimos, are kept there, in a silver casket.

The monastery is an impressive building with a chapel and a richly decorated new church. There is, under the monastery, a 2 room cave that the saint has built, for him to live and pray there. Pilgrims all over Greece come to pray here.
The cave of Agios Gerasimos
The cave of Saint Gerasimos is located in the area of Lassi in Argostoli. The cave has a natural hole which offers light and a view over the sea. Saint Gerasimos, the patron saint of the island took possession of the cave and stayed there until he moved to the Omala valley where he reorganised the monastery that took his name, Agios Gerasimos.

A small church has been built into this cave in order to welcome the many pilgrims.

The convent of Agios Andreas
The Byzantine convent of Agios Andreas was partly destroyed by the earthquake which shook the Ionians islands in 1953.

During the earthquake, some plaster fell off the church walls and revealed frescoes of the 16th century. After the earthquake, the church was restored and was turned into an interesting museum with a unique collection of Byzantine icons and some ecclesiastical exhibits.

According to the tradition, the convent also houses the holy relic of Agios Andrea’s right foot.

The Church of the Virgin Mary Lagouvarda
The Church of the Virgin Mary Lagouvarda is situated in Markopoulos village. The church was built where a monastery, later destroyed by the Turks, used to be. The tradition says that in 1705, the monastery was attacked by pirates and the nuns, in order to avoid been taken prisoners, prayed the Virgin Mary to be transform into snakes. Their prayers were answered and the pirates, frightened, run away. Since then, the snakes return every year to the church and bring to the village good luck and prosperity.
The church became famous due to this strange phenomenon. A large number of harmless snakes appear around the church every year on August 15th, the day of the celebration of Virgin Mary.

Other Kefalonia churches :
- The Monastery and cave of Agia Paraskevi. It is located just outside Lixouri, on the red sandy beach of Lepeda. The cave was used as a church and it was turned in 1668 into a hermitage for monks. Nowadays, the monastery is in ruins and only a few parts of it can be seen.


  The feast days of the monastery are the 16th August, for the commemoration of the saint’s death and the 20th October, the date of the removal of his relics. On both these days, some big festivals and processions take place. The saint’s sarcophagus is taken outside and placed under an old plane tree which, as popular tradition says, was planted by the saint himself.

The saint was a monk from Trikala, Korinth, and was a member of the famous Notaras family. He founded this monastery in the 16th century. The monastery existed before 1470 and was dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Agios Gerasimos reorganised it.

The saint patron was famous for his miraculous skills that gave him the ability to cure those with mental illness. He died in 1579 and was declared a saint in 1622.

The Monastery of Agrilion

The Monastery dominates the hill of Sami. The monastery is dedicated to Hyperayia Theotokos and was built in the 18th century, on the place where the miraculous icon of Theotokos was found.

It is said that the icon was found in 1722 by two shepherds which, after discovering the icon, decided to dedicate themselves to the monastery life.

The Monastery of Panagia Atrou

The Monastery of Panagia Atrou is situated a couple of kilometres from Poros, on a green hill of 500 metres high.
The Monastery is dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

It is the oldest monastery of the island and was first built in the 8th century.
It is said that the monastery was destroyed and rebuilt seventeen times.
The feast day of the monastery is on September 8th.

The Monastery of Our Lady Themata
The Monastery was built in 11th century, in a dense forest on the slopes of Agia Dinati, near the village of Makrytotika.

“Themata” means “matters” in Greek and according to the popular tradition, the people that used to have various problems worrying them were praying to its miraculous icon, asking for some solutions.

- The church of Estavromenos. The church is situated in Pessada and was built in 1618 on the ruins of an older monastery. The monastery is dedicated to the exaltation of the holy cross. Today, since the death of the oldest nun, the monastery is abandoned.

- The Monastery of Lamia. The monastery is situated near the village of Dilinata. It was built in 1690. No longer inhabited, it contains an icon of the birth of Virgin Mary, supposed to be miraculous.

- The Monastery of Kipouria. It is located near Lixouri and was built in the 17th century. “Kipos “means “Garden” in Greek. The monastery took that name because of the gardens that surrounded it. The monastery houses post Byzantine icons.

- The Church of Zoodochos Pigi.
- The Church of Theotokos of Sission.

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