January 23, 2016

The Highest Altitude Orthodox Chapel in All of Greece and the Balkans (photos + videos)

The peak of Profitis Ilias on Mount Olympus in Greece

Mount Olympus is the highest mountain in Greece and the second highest mountain in the Balkans. Built at an altitude of 2803 meters on the Mouson Plateau (Plateau of the Muses), 10 minutes from the Skiing and Hiking Association refuge, Profitis Ilias (Prophet Elijah or Elias) is the highest chapel in all of Greece and the Balkans (and perhaps the world).

It was first built by Saint Dionysios of Olympus (Jan. 23) in the 16th century, who also founded the most significant monastery in the region that bears his name, and has now been restored. Though it is not the highest peak of Mount Olympus (those peaks are today named Mytikas and Stefani), the peak of Profitis Ilias (the fifth highest in Greece), named after the chapel, is the most accessible and it was here that the ancient Greeks would come to sacrifice to the gods, since Mount Olympus was considered the home of the gods. It also commands an amazing view.

The chapel celebrates on the feast of the Prophet Elias on July 20th, usually by monks from nearby Mount Athos.