This is the second oldest orthodox monastery in Greece (built in 1017), landmark of the island, pride of the locals. The monastery-literally built on an almost vertical surface, is an ode to the grace of Panagia (Virgin Mary), patron of the island-celebrated on the 15th of August. A stone doorway leads to the higher levels onto the chapel of the monastery. Discover the hidden treasures and let yourself indulge in the kind treat of the monks who always offer psimeni raki and loukoumi to the travelers.
The folk legend surrounding the history of the monastery is impressively dramatic. According to this, at the time of the second iconoclast period in the 9th century, icons were destroyed. Among those, the icon of the “dark eyed Mary”, broken apart into two pieces was thrown to the sea by a woman in her struggle to save the icon from complete vandalism. The icon drifted to the shore of Profitis Ilias where a chapel was built by the locals, which was to be replaced by a monastery. To their surprise and during their attempt to build the first stone walls, the workers would every day discover that the previous day’s work had been destroyed by unknown cause. One day, a shepard discovered something hanging over the cliff at 300 meters above sea level: it was a builders tools hammered into the rocks. The locals who saw this as the God’s will, hastened to start works anew until the monastery construction was complete another 80 years after. In the meanwhile, the other half of the icon, had drifted to the shores of the island of Patmos where another monastery was built. The two pieces, were tied together in the name of Virgin Mary.
Sea view from the windows of the monastery is truly breathtaking and could be nothing else but countless shades of blue. But it’s not only Chozoviotisa; the island itself with its magnificent locals, the customs and local cuisine, picturesque villages and architecture, peculiar geomorphology literally “diving” into the archipelago, is there to testify that Amorgos is definitely the island of “Le Grand Bleu”.