Monasteries & churches in Rhodes
Rhodes has many monasteries that you can visit during your stay on the island. The most notable of these are the following:
The church of Panagia Kremasti is to be found in Kremasti village, one of the island’s largest, and lies about 12 kilometers southwest of the capital, close to Diagoras airport (just 3 km west) and the Valley of the Butterflies.
Panagia Kremasti, is situated in the main square of the village and has an icon of the Panagia (Virgin Mary), considered to be miraculous. The church itself is a mixture of architectural styles with a magnificent dome that rises 23 meters above the floor and 10 feet above the roof of the church. At 40 meters there is the spire, as well as a white tower 20 meters in height.
Kremasti church is very famous in Rhodes and is considered to be the protector-saint of the island, as the name is found in other churches of Rhodes. Its 15th August festival day and the day of the Assumption on the 23rd of the same month attracts thousands of locals and visitors.
The monastery of Panagia Tsambika is located between Archangelos and Kolymbia, 32 km east of Rhodes city.
The monastery was reconstructed in 1770 by a monk called Chatzigerasimos. It was built according to the Dodecanese style and has hollow roof tiles. The floor is covered with peddles and shells while the wooden temple was constructed before the 17th century. The name of the monastery comes from the word "tsamba", which means "spark" in the local dialect. According to one tradition, a local shepherd, following a vigil light, found the icon on top of the cliff at an altitude of 375 meters, where the old monastery was later built.
The icon of Panagia Tsambika is considered miraculous, particularly for childless women. The monastery is the protector-saint of the island and in fact many locals are named Tsambikos (men) and Tsambika (women).
Panagia Kyra Tsambika is celebrated during Lent, and specifically on Sunday of Lent, while Kato Panagia Tsambika is celebrated on September 8th. The festival is the third largest on Rhodes and attracts more than 10,000 visitors from around the world.
The small chapel of Agios Soulas is located near the west-coast town of Soroni, in the Municipality of Rhodes Island and is about 25 kilometers from the city of Rhodes. Agios Soulas is situated to the south of the village in a valley, which stretches between two hills and reaches the foot of Mount Perioli.
This basilica was built with length of 7.70 m, a width 2.70 m. and a height of 3m. It is not known precisely when the church was built, but it is certain that it was built during the early Christian period. Inside the church, opposite the entrance on the north side there is a spring flowing into an artificial cave. The chapel is dedicated to the name of St. Silas, the Apostle Paul’s friend and navigator, who, according to tradition, stayed there a few days teaching Christianity. People believe that the holy water that flows from the spring cures various skin diseases and especially the scabies.
This small chapel attracts thousands of locals on its feast day celebrations on July 30th. Part of the celebrations are horse and donkeys races.
At the foot of the mountain Skiadi there is the monastery of Panagia Skiadeni, near the village of Mesanagros, 83 kilometers from the capital of Rhodes.
The discovery of the icon to the Blessed Virgin is considered a miracle and the church was built at the point where the icon was found. In the monastery there is a gospel dating from 1862. The church itself is a masterpiece, while the floor is covered with black and white pebbles. The church owes its name to its location, meaning shadowy. Mesanagros itself is a village hidden among the mountains. Legends abound regarding the miraculous icon of Mary.
Panagia Skiadeni is celebrated on September 8th, attracting locals and visitors from all over the island.
Panagia Ipseni is situated in the south-eastern part of Rhodes, 50 kilometers from the city, close to the village of Lardos and not far from historic Lindos.
The monastery is dedicated to the Assumption of Mary and was founded in 1855 by St. Meletius, who devoted his life to God and prayer. St. Meletius was honored as a saint and his relics were kept in the monastery of Ipseni. The name Ipseni has prevailed since the 20th century because of the altitude at which it is built, hidden in the woods.
Today it is a nunnery, adding to its rich history, and it celebrates its feast day on August 22nd, 9 days after Mary’s death according to tradition.