Thursday, September 14, 2017

The austere Limonos Monastery near Kalloni

Go visit the Limonos Monastery, Kalloni, Lesbos

The Limonos Monastery, with its square, straight, masculine, rigorous  and unimaginative layout  is the opposite of the feminine, intimate, exuberant and straight forward  monastery of Mysionitissas. But the vegetation, the older buildings and the chapels in the environment give it a lot of charm.

Limonos Monastery complex, near Kalloni, Lesbos

The new building, a huge 2 floored square with the church in the middle of it and the well right next to it has integrated the old quarters, dating from the 16 century; you can visit the cell of it's founder, St Ignatios who started the monastery in 1526. Unfortunately at the moment most of the complex is uninhabited, only 3 monks live in this big monastery. It used to be a center of professional education.

The cell of St Ignatios, founder of the Limonos Monastery, Kalloni, Lesbos

Limonos Monastery, Kalloni, Lesbos: upper floor of the old part  

The Limonos monastery has a very valuable museum with Byzantine and post Byzantine manuscripts, icons, documents, Ottoman ferman's, sacred vestments, liturgical vessels, holy relics and folkloric exhibits, manuscripts of the founder St Ignatios. It is forbidden to take pictures and they don't have a catalogue, which is a shame; I can't give any example of the beauty of the museum.

The  main church and the courtyard were forbidden for women, but this year, when we visited, they didn't seem to care and the writing, forbidding the women to enter, wasn't there any more. Thus I could visit the courtyard, but the church was closed to the public. Inside the church are images of animals and plants, so they say.This images are reflected in a wood carving: the church has a gallery on 2 sides and one of the wooden pillars supporting the gallery has a beautiful, sensual wood carving, showing a bee among leaves.
Limonos Monastery, Kalloni, Lesbos: wood carving in the church's gallery 

Outside the square are older quarters and courtyards where peacocks stroll around and their plaintive and shy cries for attention fill the air.  But they are very timide and I didn't get a picture of them.
Limonos Monastery, Kalloni, Lesbos: older part of the monastery outside the square

The monastery is constructed upon a very big plot and it is sewn with small chapels constructed by individuals who want to be near the monastery, spend their day in meditation, a small opportunity to live as a hermit. A chapel under construction proofs that this phenomenon, urge, need still exists.

Limonos Monastery, Kalloni, Lesbos: one of the may chapels outside the enclosure

The golf of Gera

Lesbos has 2 big bays, actually they are more like inner seas. The big one is the Kalloni Bay and the small one is the Gera Bay. Both of the bays flow into the Aegean Sea. The Gera Golf is more picturesque with its summer houses on one side and woods, forests and some villages on the opposite side. Especially the point where the golf goes over into the sea is very lively and colorful, with a lot of traffic going on.

Confluence of the Gulf of Gera and the Aegean Sea
Sitting on a cliff and looking down at the different types of vessels is peaceful, soothing and interesting; seagulls follow the fishing boat, crying for food  and cormorants like to rest on a big rock before diving down to catch  their supper. We once counted how long a cormorant can stay under water and it was a little bit more than a minute. While atching, you have to be very attentive to discover where they come above water.

Golf of Gera, Lesbos: cormorants sitting on a rock

Turkey is just a couple of miles away and on a clear day you can see buildings, the sun reflecting in windows being opened, wind mills, etc. In fact, the distance between the island and Turkey is so small  even cell phones operate under their proper operator!

The Golf of Gera, Lesbos, flowing into the Aegean Sea with colorful, rusty fishing boat and Turkey in the background

I didn't intend to spent more than 1 week on telling about our trip to Lesbos, but there is so much to tell and to show about this fabulous island. Next week will be the last post about Lesbos: I have two more places to tell you about: Molyvos and Filia.


Now that we are back home, the neighbors visited, shopping and laundry done, the house cleaned, the garden tended, I found time to add some items to the shop of my fbpage: Lovelea. I made a collage out of leather bi-colored, minimalist but chic bracelets and a set of black leather choker and cuff in Western style, but you can  get them separated.The link to my fbpage LoveLea and my shop is on the left side of this post.


  1. Aha! Nu heb ik gevonden hoe ik commentaar kan toevoegen. Ik vind het nog altijd leuk om alles te lezen , het is een beetje alsof ik er zelf bij ben, je maakt mooie beschrijvingen en vergelijkingen en zo kan ik me goed inbeelden wat je allemaal beschrijft...

  2. dank je wel lieve! ik zie dat een groot deel van de fotos niet te zien is, kun jij ze zien?

    moet jij ook bewijzen dat je geen robot bent? ik heb nochthans aangeduuid dat ik dat niet wil hebben.


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