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Friday, April 29, 2022

Agionisi - A Holy Island Off the Coast of Igoumenitsa With the Ruins of the Monastery of the Life-Giving Spring

Surrounded by the sea is a dot of land immersed in trees and vegetation. This island is known as Agionisi (Holy Island), which is off the coast of Igoumenitsa, a coastal city in northwestern Greece.

There, in the old days, it is unknown when, there was a whole monastic complex, but now only the Church of the Life-Giving Spring (Zoodochos Pege) is there and some stone ruins, testifying to the presence of a habitation which left its traces and was not completely lost.

Once a year, on the Friday of the Renewal Week, "Christ is Risen" is proclaimed on this island by pilgrims, who arrive by sail boats and fishing boats from Igoumenitsa about 30 minutes away, as a Resurrection Divine Liturgy is performed.

According to Archimandrite Methodios Delis (abbot of the Monastery of Giromeri in Thesprotia, to which the church of the island belongs), it is not known when the Church of the Life-Giving Spring, which has no narthex and frescoes, was consecrated, as no relevant data have been saved.

The existence of cells and a well, along with the finding of human bones, found during the renovation of the church, confirm that a male monastery operated in the area.

However, according to some, not extensive, archaeological research, the monastery's katholikon and surrounding sites are likely to date back to the early Ottoman period, with a possible earlier construction phase, which is not only not ruled out, but is considered almost certain.

The katholikon, which has received newer interventions, is a one-room church with a three-sided arch, which is topped with a gabled roof.

In 1997 the Monastery of the Life-Giving Spring was declared a historical monument.

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