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Karpenisi - Prousou monastery Prousou monastery
Only 31 kilometres south of Karpenisi, you can find Prousou monastery. It is built at an impressive site, reached with difficulty, surrounded by rocks between mountains Chelidona, Kaliakouda and the mountain range of Trimfistos. It is dedicated to the Assumption of Virgin Mary, whose memory is celebrated on August 23. The name of the monastery comes from the miraculous picture of Panagia Proussiotissa, which was made in Prousa of Anatolia and people think that it was made by Evangelist Luke. According to tradition the monastery was founded in the 9th century, when emperor of the Byzantine empire was Theophilus, in an effort to take the picture away from Prousa and protect it, since Theophilus was an iconoclast and wanted to destroy it. Even though the spot the monastery is built is difficult to reach, it was active all the years that followed. In 1587 a fire caused many damages and in 1748 it became Stavropigiaki, which means that it belongs directly to the Ecumenical Patriarch. During the War of Independence it was a refuge for Greek rebels Lampros Katsantonis, Georgios Karaiskakis, Markos Botsaris and many more. During the years that followed the monastery had some financial difficulties and on August 16 1944 Nazis burnt a large part of the monastery, destroying many relics, handscripts, books and items of everyday use. The picture of Virgin Mary from Prousa was saved because it was hidden in a crypt. After the end of the Civil War a huge restoration project began and now is fully restored. You can see items and books that were saved from the fire, as well as items of soldiers from the War of Independence that were left there.
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