The Dafni Monastery

dafniou2Situated at the edge of the Haidari parkland, the Dafni Monastery is said to have been built at the site of the ancient temple of Apollo Dafnaios. Fortified and surrounded by high defensive walls, only two entrances lead to the perivolos, where the Monastery’s main church is located, the imposing “Katholikon.”

Other structures, including the monks’ chambers and the dining room, are also located here. Like most of Athens’ Byzantine buildings, the monastery’s Katholikon dates from the 11th Century, and has been restored multiple times during its thousand years of existence. Fortunately, many of its exquisite, original mosaic decorations have been preserved.
Over the centuries, the Monastery gradually fell into disrepair and, by the late 19th Century, it had been abandoned by the monks, subsequently being used as a public mental hospital. Today, however, this fortified monastery is included in the Unesco World Record of Cultural Heritage.

Source: www.athensattica.gr

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