All posts tagged: megara

Monasteries and Churches of Greece

With 97% of the country comprised of Greek Orthodox members, it’s no wonder there’s an abundance of historic monasteries and churches with generations of monks, nuns, and priests who have preserved the Greek language, culture, and religion. Greek Orthodox monasteries stretch across the countryside in some of the most beautiful locations imaginable—some balanced atop steep rocks with others burrowed in lush, green valleys and olive groves. Many of these monasteries were built centuries ago by hermits and monks in an effort to escape religious persecution. During Greece’s most troubling times, monasteries offered safety and comfort to the people of Greece. In addition to the monasteries, visitors will find countless Orthodox churches, packed with holy icons and whose architecture reflect particular regions of Greece and the period in which they were built. Some of the oldest date back to the Byzantine era (330-1453 A.D.). The architecture and the earthly tones of the churches on the Ionian Islands like Corfu, Lefkada, and Zakynthos were heavily influenced by the Venetians during the 15th century. Santorini, Tinos, Milos, and …

Monastery of St. John the Baptist, Megara

The first Greek Orthodox Monastery I ever visited was the Monastery of St. John the Baptist, above Megara, Greece. I was traveling through Greece with my family in the summer of 2003, just a 12-year-old with her mind preoccupied with thoughts of home and concerned about what I would wear for my first day of junior high school upon my return from Greece. When my family got to the Monastery of St. John, we were invited to stay overnight, a rare treat offered to very few people. That night is forever cemented in my memory, and sparked my interest in monasteries. It was at St. John’s where I learned to live in the present. During our stay, I learned the monastery was founded in 1960 by a nun who was first drawn to the site over two decades prior. This nun would spend her Sundays visiting and praying at local churches in the hills throughout the Megara region, walking great distances from her home and back each week. By the time my family visited, the monastery …