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by Archaeology Newsroom

The monastery of St. Nicholas at Metsovo

The passage of Metsovo has always been important to communications between eastern and western mainland Greece. The town’s location can well explain the importance it always had and also accounts for its fortifications among which the fortress-monastery of St. Nicholas and Panagia are numbered.

The monastery of St. Nicholas is mentioned in 1380 as the prominent monastery. The catholicon of the monastery was destroyed in 1453 by the Turks but it was rebuilt in 1700, thanks to the privileges given by the sultan Ahmed IV to Metsovo in 1659.

By 1925 the monastery was abandoned by its monks and since then it has given shelter to random travelers and brigands. Smoke, exessive moisture and slipping soil are the main reasons for the destruction of the monastery’s wall painted decoration. However, in 1960 and 1984 a project for the reconstruction and renovation of the monastery was undertaken, financed by the Averof – Tositsas Foundation. Three painters are responsible for the embellishment of the catholicon with wall paintings, each painter with a style of his own. Portable icons, some of them significant are kept and venerated in the church.