Churches and monasteries have a particularly symbolic character.
Firstly, they represent the Christian faith and Orthodoxy.
Secondly, they stand out for their architectural beauty which boasts a long history and, finally, they constitute something so reminiscent of… Greece.
The small chapels of Aegina, as well as the impressive domes of the cathedrals, sneak in almost every photograph and in their own way they manage to make the picture even more beautiful.
Agios Nektarios: Among the largest Orthodox monasteries in the Balkans
The Monastery of Agios Nektarios in Aegina is one of the largest Monasteries of Greece and one of the largest orthodox churches in the Balkans. It is an attraction for tourists arriving from different parts of the world to worship and get healed, due to its reputation for being thaumaturgic, which goes back in history. The Monastery of Agios Nektarios was built in 1904. Its current form was set in the period 1973-94, when the locals started building on the ruins of a Byzantine monastery. Its history relates to Saint Nektarios himself, who settled on the island in 1908. He soon became popular, thanks to two miracles he performed according to the folk tradition: He healed a possessed young man and then brought down rain following 3 years of drought after praying to God on request by the Aegineans. The inhabitants of the island perceived these two events as divine signs, so that they considered him a saint even while he was still alive. Saint Nektarios – who is now the patron saint of Aegina – died of cancer in the Aretaio Hospital in 1920 and left behind a rich pastoral, theological and literary opus. His relic, despite the three burials and exhumations, remained unchanged for over 30 years! Thus, he was proclaimed a saint, officially, in 1961, and since then the Monastery is considered a source of hope for the pious believers.
Monastery of Agios Minas: Next to the sanctuary of Aphaia
At 1 km from the archaeological site of Aphaia you will come across Agios Minas Monastery. Inside the tall wall that surrounds it there are two temples. Its green surroundings are one of the reasons why this new Monastery is preferred by pilgrims seeking peace and introspection.
Panagia Chrysoleontissa Monastery: The oldest monastery at the highest point of the island
It was built in the 17th century and is one of the old monasteries. It was formerly in the Kypseli area in Leonti, until the monks transferred the icon of Virgin Mary to the present location, deep in the mountains, in order to protect it from the pirates. The purpose for which it was built was therefore to provide a safe place for the protection of the monks from pirates. Consequently, its architecture is very special, with characteristically high walls and a three-storey tower. The tower, 20 meters high, was built long before the church, around 1600, while the church was built in 1800 to replace the previous one that had been burned completely. During the 19th century most monastic estates were expropriated – this particular monastery was always very rich in land property – and the monks left. Since 1935 Chrysoleontissa switched from male to female Monastery and now there are about 10 nuns living there.
Agios Nikolaos: The church that welcomes you to Aegina
The church of Agios Nikolaos is one of the first images you behold when you arrive by boat to the island of Aegina. It is located at the port, built in the 17th century in stone and thus, dressed in white, it enjoys the company of the boats and other moored vessels. It stands out for its simple architecture with its austere, clear lines, small size and the frescoes in its interior.
Omorfi Ekklisia (Beautiful Church) or Agioi Theodoroi: The best-preserved Byzantine monument of Aegina
The Beautiful Church (or Agioi Theodoroi) is located just outside the town of Aegina, between the villages of Asomatoi and Kypseli. It is a church built at the end of the 12th century and is also the best-preserved Byzantine monument of Aegina. Inside, one can find unique icons in good condition, including the rare image of the birth of Christ with the Virgin Mary as a Galactophorousa (Milk-bearer).
Holy Monastery of Agia Anastasia
Just a short distance from the town of Aegina, in the area of Livadi, is a small monastery, Agia Anastasia, a place for the spiritual inspiration of Aegineans and others. The monastery has been operating since 1955, while its distinctive character is afforded by the Russian-style icons in the interior. The Monastery of Agia Anastasia celebrates on December 22nd.