Where are the Monastery of Saint Nicholas and the Chapel of Virgin Mary Pantanassa
The Monastery of Saint Nicholas is built on a small island in Porto Lagos and together with the Chapel of Virgin Mary Pantanassa form the monastic complex in the lagoon of Porto Lagos.
At the exact point where Lake Vistonida joins the Thrasian Sea, we find the impressive “floating” complex that extends to two small islands.
These two islets are easily accessible to visitors via a wooden bridge. Additionally, there is another pedestrian bridge connecting these islets to the mainland. It's worth noting that before these bridges were built, worshipers had to take a boat to reach the temple.
On one islet stands the Monastery of Saint Nicholas, and on the other islet is the Chapel of Virgin Mary Pantanassa. There is a replica of the miraculous icon from the Holy Great Monastery of Vatopedi.
What tradition says about the history of the Monastery
According to the tradition, during the period of Turkish rule, the area of Porto Lagos belonged to a local bey. He sought the help of a hermit living there due to his ailing daughter.
Once the hermit healed her, the bey wanted to express his gratitude and thus granted the area to the Holy Great Monastery of Vatopedi on Mount Athos.
Another older tradition states that the Dependency of Saint Nicholas was consecrated by Patriarch Nectarios in the presence of the Byzantine Emperor Arcadius. After the emperor's shipwreck during his return from Rome, he emerged unharmed thanks to the intercession of the Virgin Mary. This event led him to express his gratitude to the Virgin Mary by dedicating the area to Theotokos.
Why is the Temple dedicated to Saint Nicholas
In the area where the monastic complex is located today, the Church of Saint Theodoroi existed before the Temple of Saint Nicholas was built. This fact explains how the icons of the temple’s iconostasis date back to the 18th century. The ruins of the demolished temple are kept outside Porto Lagos.
During the construction of the temple, it is said that Saint Nicholas appeared and expressed his desire to be the patron of the temple with the following words: «I will be the protector as the Saint of the sea». Hence, the temple was built in his honor.
Open hours of the Temple of Saint Nicholas
The Church of Saint Nicholas is open daily. Please note that the operating hours may vary.
The contact phone numbers are +30 2541096766 and +30 2541096722.