Monastery of Zoodochos Pigi Kournas
Last Update: May 2003
Monastery of Zoodochos Pigi Kournas - Overview
Dominican monks built the Kournas Monastery during the Franks Occupation
of Chios between 1346-1566. It is located on the outskirts of the Penthodom mountain
approximately 2,5 kilometers from the village Karyes and a short distance from
the road leading to the Aghios Markos Monastery.
The Monastery is comprised of a church, monks’ quarters, and annexed
buildings. The quarters are of significant interest due to their magnificently
sculpted decor within the interior staircase pilasters. The inscriptions on the
doorframes within the church are very similar to the one’s in Nea Moni and are
Since the 15th century, many travelers have passed by the Kournas
Monastery and have reflected on it in addition to their reflections on Nea Moni.
The first written citations were by Bontelmontius who visited the island in 1422.
He described the church as being the "church of the Virgin Mary Coronata,
greatly respected by all." Most travelers however consider the church honored
by all nations, meaning all religious creeds.
The Monastery passed to the Orthodox monks around 1658. The fact that
the church today honors the name Zoodohou Pighi is of no surprise considering
the period the Monastery passed to the hands of the Orthodox.
In the beginning of the 20th century, the Kournas Monastery became
active in religious painting as did other monasteries located on the island. The
icons that are exhibited here display a peculiar, local technique that is worth
studying in detail.
Today, the Monastery no longer operates, however, a large festival
takes place on its Feast Day.
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