Vellas Monastery

Sites & Monuments Vellas Monastery

Vellas Monastery

The Holy Monastery of Vellas is located 30km northwest of Ioannina and 2km south of Kalpaki, built at the foothills of Mount Frangos. The initial phase of the catholicon dates back to the 11th century, but the largest part of its current form dates to 1745, as evidenced by the founding inscription above the west door of the catholicon. Concerning the architectural form, the temple belongs to the three-aisled basilica type. A 19th century cell complex adjoins the southern side. Τhe church inside is covered with frescoes dating to 1745, while in some areas an earlier layer of frescoes has been revealed, that probably belongs to the Byzantine phase of the church.

The Monastery has been a remarkable spiritual center from the 13th to the 17th century, possessing a large property. It was dissolved in 1817, when its monks abandoned it and fled to Corfu, under the fear of Ali Pasha, since they had refused to cede the monastic property to him. In 1911, the Metropolitan of Vella and Konitsi, Spyridon Vlachos, tried to restore the dissolved monastery by establishing on 7th September 1911 the Clerical School of Vella for lay teachers and priests. This institution initially operated in the cells of the monastery and later in the new buildings, that were built in 1928-1982.

Throughout the 20th century and until recently, a Church School was running in the monastery without interruption.

Athena Zogaki

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