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Old Monastery of Agios Dionysios

Old Monastery of Agios Dionysios
The monastery of Agia Triada Olympou was renovated by the monk and saint of the eastern orthodox church, Dionisios, in 1543, by the Ennipeas gorge. In this area, an older monastery of the same name used to exist. The Thessalian Dionisios the Young (from Drakotrypa, Karditsa), prior to the establishing of the commune in Olympus, had been a monk at Meteora and the abbot of the Filotheos Monastery at Mount Athos. He was reputed to be a scholarly ascetic and calligrapher. The monastery was destroyed several times through fires and looting by the Ottomans, as it was a base for Macedonian klephts (anti-Ottoman insurgents). It was razed to the ground in 1943 through a series of explosions by the German occupying forces, who considered the monastery to be a centre of national resistance in Olympus. Only the remnants of the katholicon (from the main church) that was constructed in the 18th century and the north wing that comprises the refectory and the monastery tower have survived to this day. A cave housing the hermitage of Agios Dionysios, with a chapel and blessed spring, can be found a short distance away, south-east from the old monastery. Today, the monastery is being renovated from the ground-up, and the few remaining monks currently inhabit the monastery’s dependency, found north of Litochoro, where modern dormitories and facilities were built. The dependency’s church was built in the 17th century, while its older buildings were constructed towards the end of the 19th century.
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