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Harry's Peloponnese Guide:
The Monastery of Aghia Lavra

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It was in the courtyard of Aghia Lavra Monastery that the War of Independence from the Turks was declared on March 25, 182.

Residents of Achaea were prime movers of the revolution and also in later conflicts such as WW II when the Germans massacred the male residents of the village of Kalavrita for their partisan activities.

Their memorial may be seen in the background of the picture below center.

The monastery lies 7 km SW of Kalavrita on a hill. In Byzantine times a 'lavra' was a group of cells for hermits. Founded in 961 AD by a monk from Mt. Athos, the Monastery has been destroyed and rebuilt 3 times.

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The banner of the War of Independence is kept at the Monastery replete with its Turkish bullet hole. There are well preserved wall paintings in the Church of St. Nicolas (16th C). The monasteries' museum contains an early gospel studded with diamonds presented as a gift from Catherine the Great as well as the vestments of Bishop Germanos and the skull of St. Alexos.

When we showed up it was closed at 1:30 in the afternoon.The country side is nice but its hard to find the monastery with conflicting an non existent road signs. The richly bedecked priest getting out of his 50,000 eu BMW sneered at us too because we were a heterosexual couple? Yawn! I think they are worried more about the men wearing provocative clothing than the women.

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