Moni Filanthropinon


This monastery, active at least since the 13th century, bursts with flowers and is tended by kindly nuns – in stark contrast with its church, in which one wall is filled floor to ceiling with severed limbs, rolling heads and every other grisly mode of martyrdom in Christian history. Just as intriguing (and easier on the eye) is a separate section of frescoes of Greek philosophers Plato, Aristotle and Plutarch, installed during a 16th-century renovation.

The Filanthropini, a leading Constantinopolitan family who fled the Crusaders in 1204, either established or renovated the monastery, which during the Ottoman period is said to have been used as a secret school for Christians. Follow the right-hand path along the island's western edge to reach this well-signposted monastery. Farther along the path is Moni Diliou (aka Stratigopoulou), also established in the 13th century; it is restored, but seldom unlocked.

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