Monasteries of Daphni, Hosios Loukas and Nea Moni of Chios - Greece
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Marine Biologist
N 38° 23.685 E 022° 44.800
34S E 652532 N 4251059
Quick Description: These three monasteries are geographically distant from one another, but they belong to the same typological series and share the same aesthetic characteristics. The posted coordinates are for the Monastery of Hosios Loukas.
Location: Greece
Date Posted: 6/25/2008 5:18:51 PM
Waymark Code: WM41Z7
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Tervas
Views: 108

Long Description:
The following information is posted on the UNESCO World Heritage Site: "Although geographically distant from each other, these three monasteries (the first is in Attica, near Athens, the second in Phocida near Delphi, and the third on an island in the Aegean Sea, near Asia Minor) belong to the same typological series and share the same aesthetic characteristics. The churches are built on a cross-in-square plan with a large dome supported by squinches defining an octagonal space. In the 11th and 12th centuries they were decorated with superb marble works as well as mosaics on a gold background, all characteristic of the 'second golden age of Byzantine art'."

We visited the Monastery of Hosios Loukas in 2006 and were very impressed with the architecture of this medieval site. The following information about the Monastery of Hosios Loukas is provided by Wikipedia:

"Hosios Loukas is an historic walled monastery situated near the town of Distomo, in Boeotia, Greece. It is one of the most important monuments of Middle Byzantine architecture and art, and has been listed on UNESCO's World Heritage Sites, along with the monasteries of Nea Moni and Daphnion."

"The monastery of Hosios Loukas is situated at a scenic site on the slopes of Mount Helicon. It was founded in the early 10th century by the hermit St. Lukas, whose relics are kept in the monastery to this day. The hermit (who died on 7 February 953) was famous for having predicted the conquest of Crete by Emperor Romanos. It was unclear if he was referring to Romanos I, the emperor at the time. However the island was actually reconquered by Nicephorus Phocas under Romanos II. It is believed that it was during the latter's reign (959-963) that the Church of the Theotokos (Panagia) was constructed."

"The main shrine of the monastery is the tomb of St. Lukas, originally situated in the vault, but later placed at the juncture of the two churches. The monastery derived its wealth (including funds required for construction) from the fact that the relics of St. Lukas were said to have exuded myron, a sort of perfumed oil which produced healing miracles. Pilgrims hoping for miraculous help were encouraged to sleep by the side of the tomb in order to be healed by incubation. The mosaics around the tomb represent not only St. Lukas himself, but also hegumen Philotheos offering a likeness of the newly-built church to the saint."

"The Church of the Theotokos, the oldest in the complex, is the only church known to have been built in mainland Greece in the tenth century. This centralized parallelogram-shaped building is the oldest example of the cross-in-square type in the country; its plan closely follows that of Fenari Isa Camii in Constantinople. The walls are opus mixtum (part brick, part stone, part marble) and display curious pseudo-kufic patterns."

"The Church of the Theotokos adjoins a larger cathedral church, or Katholikon, tentatively dated to 1011-12. The Katholikon is the earliest extant domed-octagon church, with eight piers arranged around the perimeter of the naos (nave). The hemispherical dome (without a drum) rests upon four squinches which make a transition from the octagonal base under the dome to the square defined by the walls below. The main cube of the church is surrounded by galleries and chapels on all four sides."
Type: Building

Reference number: 537

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Marine Biologist visited Monasteries of Daphni, Hosios Loukas and Nea Moni of Chios - Greece 3/31/2006 Marine Biologist visited it

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