Monastery of Panagia Koutsourou

On a rocky cliff at approximately 2,624 ft. (800 m.) above sea level, close to the village Amygdalia (Doris), lies the Monastery of Panagia Koutsourou. The monastery was built in 1670, after the miraculous icon of Virgin Mary was discovered there. It all started from the Holy Monastery of Taxiarches in Egio.

A monk cloistered there kept seeing a special light, distinct from all the others, due to its intensity and brightness, always on the same spot. He became curious to discover what it could be. One night, he saw Virgin Mary in his sleep, who told him: “At that spot where the light comes from is my icon and I shall live there”. 

He hesitated no more. He crossed the Corinthian Gulf and, via Eratini, he headed towards the light. He went down the steep rocks, until he found a cave. There was a tree at its entrance and in the tree’s hollow log, the monk discovered the icon of Virgin Mary. A small chapel, which still exists to this day, was built in the cave to put the miraculous icon.

News about the miraculous discovery spread and many pilgrims flocked to the area. The chapel took the name “Virgin Mary Koutsouriotissa” from the word “koutsouro” (log), where the icon was found. 

Later, on the top of the cliff, a temple and cells were built in about 1670, in order to facilitate congregants. In 1825, the monastery was destroyed by the Ottomans and in 1835 it was restored, together with the surrounding cells. The significance of the monastery for the local population has been great, since it used to be where the persecuted by Turco-Albanians found shelter. The church and the cells suffered extensive damage from the earthquake of June 1995. Thanks to the tireless work of a new Chapter and the unflagging interest of then Metropolitan Athenagoras, a new beauteous temple is now being slowly built on the same location.