Church of St. Stephan

One of the Monastery’s oldest buildings is the Old Katholikon (the main church), dedicated to St Stephen, which was first built at the end of the fourteenth century, and restored from the ground up by St Philotheos in the mid-sixteenth.

This small church is a single-aisled basillican with wooden roof and an esonarthex separated from the nave by a three-arched opening as it happened with the early Christian basillican churches, where the nave communicated with the narthex.

The frescoes inside also date to the sixteenth century and they give a very interesting example of the metabyzantine hagiography. Very remarkable is the representation of the 24 “Oikoi” of Theotokos and of course all the other full-bodied saints. In the sanctuary there is the usual iconographic cycle: The Platitera of Heavens (The Virgin Mary) on the apse, as protector of the Christian and the whole world, the holy communion and figures of great hierarchs. On the left and right side of the entrance of the narthex there are the figures of the two founders priest-monks Antonios and Filotheos, wearing monastic frocks, with a divine serenity and heavenly peace on their austere faces, flanked by the Lords of the angelic hosts, Gabriel and Michael.

The inscription on the west wall of the narthex over the entrance and under the Assumption informs us about the painting of the Assumption, which was made by the priest and painter Nicholaos from Kastraki.

During the last war there were caused a lot of damages on the paintings of St. Stephen’s Church and on the building of Saint Charalambos, as well.