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Great Cave

The Great Cave is a historical monastery of Kalavrita and one of the most important pilgrimages of Orthodoxy in Greece. The morphology of the soil on which the Monastery is built is the one that gave it its name, with the huge rock standing above it, while below it lies the valley of Vouraikos.
 
Absolutely harmonized with the impressive landscape of the area, the eight-storey complex of the Monastery impresses even the most indifferent visitor. Its catholikon is a cruciform church, inscribed with two narthexes. The main church has frescoes, marble floor arrangements and a wood-carved iconostasis. The facade of the cave is closed by cells and the view from the balcony is unique.
 
According to tradition, it was founded in 362 AD. from the Thessalonian fraternal monks Symeon and Theodoros, who discovered the icon of Virgin Mary in the cave, with the help of Saint Euphrosyne, which led them to the cave where the sought-after Holy Icon was found, which she had discovered earlier by going to the cave to drink water from the spring that was there. This source of the cave is today, known as "The Source of the Daughter", sanctification, while Euphrosyne is honored as a Saint. The Holy Icon, according to tradition, was located next to the spring and guarded by a terrible dragon who was killed by lightning when he attacked the two monks who were trying to clear the sanctuary of dense vegetation.
 
During the Revolution of 1821, the Monastery was a beacon of Orthodoxy and Hellenism but also a center of resistance against the conquerors and although it received many attacks, it was never conquered.
 
A prominent place among the sacred relics of the Monastery is occupied by the Miraculous Holy Icon of the "Virgin of the Great Cave", which is the work of the Evangelist Luke. It is embossed, three points thick and made of wax, mastic and other materials. It has been tarnished by many fires. The body of the Virgin Mary is turned to the right, with her head bowed to her Son, holding him in his right hand, who with his left hand holds the left palm of His Mother, while with his right hand he holds the Gospel. To the right and left of the wax icon, there are angels.
 
The Museum of the Monastery, in addition to the important relics of the Greek Revolution, has a rare banner in the form of three Byzantine emperors, manuscripts with excellent miniatures, precious gold crosses with Holy Wood, portraits, copperplates, Gospels, Gospels, parchments gold embroidered Epitaphs, antimony and Byzantine icons of great value. Her library with a number of books and old books is also noteworthy. Relics with the bones of many Saints and the chariots of the founders of the Monastery are kept in a special chapel.
 
Finally, in the Monastery it is worth seeing the "Hole Lithari", an opening through which the light of the Sun passes only in the two Equinoxes, the rocky "cymbal" from which the German occupation troops in 1943 threw the Fathers of the Monastery, as well as many pilgrims and the tower-fortress located at the top of the rock of the Great Cave.