Nea Moni Monastery World Heritage, Chios, Pictures, Images & Photos { 38 images } Created 25 Mar 2012

Pictures, Images and photos of Nea Moni is a Byzantine Monastery built by Constantine IX and Empress Zoe after the miraculous appearance of an Icon of the Virgin Mary at the site and inaugurated in 1049.

The middle and north of Chios is dominated by high mountains up to 1297m high and steep cliffs dropping into the Aegean Sea. High up in the mountains in the centre of the Island are the ruins and basilica of The Nea Moni Monastery. The Byzantine of Nea Moni built by Constantine IX and Empress Zoe after the miraculous appearance of an Icon of the Virgin Mary at the site and inaugurated in 1049. The main church has original Byzantine mosaics and frescos. The Monastery was home to several hundred priests and its ruins are un-excavated deep in the undergrowth of a large site on the side of a mountain. Apart from the main church there are a couple of houses, a small museum and outbuildings in tact around the main church.

The chapel at the gatehouse hold a chilling Ossuary of skulls of victims of the Ottoman sack of Chios. In 1821 the Greeks made a bid for freedom from Ottoman rule and started a War of Independence. When Turkish civilians were massacred the Ottomans took their revenge on Chios just a few kilometres offshore. It is estimated some 25,000 Chiots lost their lives in the sack of Chios and only the people from the Mastic area in the south were spared as Mastic was one of the Sultans favourite food. Several hundred priests and hiding civilians were massacred in Nea Moni and the Monastery was looted. Villagers dived off high cliffs to their deaths rather than face a ruthless death or worse at the hand of the Ottoman troops. This tragic period of the history of Chios has left uninhabited villages in the centre of the Island.

Today the monastery which became a nunnery has one Nun who has lived in the monastery since entering it as a young women. There is still a thriving congregation that comes from all over the island to worship every Sunday and enjoy the undoubted peaceful atmosphere that is associated with Holy places.

To see more photos of Chios Island visit our Chios Photo gallery at : http://bit.ly/GO9i8h

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