Monastery of Osios Loukas

In close proximity from Kiriaki (14km) and towards the village Steiri is the Monastery of Osios Loukas of Steiri, built at a scenic slope above an idyllic valley full of olive trees. The monastery is the most important byzantine monument of the 11th century in Greece and has been listed on UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.

In this wonderful site untouched by time, two magnificent byzantine interconnected churches are joined. The oldest one Is the church of “Panagia” (mid-10th century) while the biggest one, “The Katholiko”, is dedicated to the founder of the monastery and built at a later time (beginning of 11th century) to keep there the relics of Osios Loukas. Both churches are masterpieces of the byzantine architecture both for their impressive external appearance and their lavish internal decoration with great mosaics and unique wall paintings that enchant all visitors. Beneath the “Katholiko” is a burial “Crypt”, accessible to visitors, which is dedicated to Saint Barbara and the tomb of Saint Loukas is kept there.

During the Revolution of 1821, the monastery played a decisive role. In particular, at dawn on March 27, after the Matins service, the Despot of Salona Isaiah blessed the weapons and declared the beginning of the Revolution in Roumeli in the presence of chieftains Athanasios Diakos and Vassilis Bousgos and members of the Filiki Etaireia (Society of Friends). Due to its position, the monastery was frequently the center of attacks as well as a hideout for thieves and men at arms and fighters in general. Unfortunately, in 1822-1823, after the pillage of the Turks, the monastery suffered severe damage and significant evidence of its history was burnt.

The restoration works that the Greek Archaeological Service started in 1938 revealed the rare richness of the architecture-decoration and contributed to the Monastery being one of the best-preserved byzantine monuments in Greece. Nowadays, the monastery has monks and attracts thousands of visitors from all over the world who, after the tour, can have their coffee or tsipouro in the yard enjoying the beautiful view to the olive orchard. Finally, for hiking lovers, nearby is the gorge of “Kleisoura” with the stone bridge, built by the monk Leontios.

Visiting hours: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. (every day & weekends) Information: +30 2267022228

Πολιτιστικός Σύλλογος Κυριακίου "Πολιτιστική Δράση"

Contact details

+30 6946522272

Kiriaki, Boeotia, 32006

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© 2023 Cultural Association of Kiriaki, “Cultural Action”

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