Mounte Monastery

The Monastery of Mounte Evaggelismos (The Annunciation) is located near the village Kastanies near Raches. A beautiful verdant setting surrounds the monastery, including a small wetlands area and dam on the river Myrsonas in what is known locally as the 'Vathes' region.

The monastery is dedicated to the Annunciation and is called Mounde or Mounte. According to Ikarian history, a family from Chios, named Mounde, gave financial support for the restoration of the monastery, so the monastery was honored with their name. Another version claims that that the name Mounte comes from the Italian word '' il Monte'', ie mountain, as the Italian conquerors called it, during the Italian-Greek war, because it is located in a mountain setting.

Built around 1460 AD after an Ikarian child dreamt that the Virgin Mary told them the exact location to unearth a buried beautiful and rare icon depicting the Immaculate Conception. At that location, the first monastery was built. Later, a widening of the monastery took place and two other chapels were created, dedicated to the Synaxis of the Twelve Apostles and the other to the Annunciation. Each small chapel has its own altar and its own main entrance.

Inside the monastery are various murals and old icons.The main wooden iconostasis of the monastery is equisite. Architecturally, the church was designed as a three-domed basilica. During the Greek Civil War( 1947-1949), the monastery served as a hospital and cared for over 120 political exiles suffering from tuberculous. The remains of some of them, are found in the courtyard of the monastery. Today there is a monk in residence who takes care of the church and grounds and holds occassional services. He also offers guests a short tour/history of the monastery and offers coffee in his rectory.

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