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The monastery of Panagia Hozoviotissa in Greece

Well above the Aegean Sea, on the island of Amorgos, the easternmost Greek islands of the Cyclades, is the spectacular Byzantine monastery of Panagia Hozoviotissa. Visible only from the sea as a bright white spot, he clings to the cliff 300 meters above sea level The monastery was built in the 11th century to protect a religious icon of the Virgin Mary of the 9th century marauding pirates. The icon, which is displayed to the public within the monastery, would mysteriously arrive on the shore just below on a boat without crew from Palestine.

The building of the monastery is stuck against the wall of the cliff. It is about 40 meters high and 5 meters wide, and has 8 bunk floors that have a greater width, using the niches in the rock. Its interior resembles a labyrinth between the church rooms (one hundred!) And various auxiliary parts forming a whole which, with ingenuity and ease of use, meets the needs of the monastic brotherhood.

A small stone staircase leads to the low and narrow entrance on the east side of the monastery. There was once a scale retractable wood, which could be raised to prevent the invasion of unwanted visitors in difficult times of pirate attacks. The exterior of the building as it is today is the result of many changes that have occurred over time. The warhead above the door dates back to the 15th century, while the doorway carved stone was installed during the renovation of the monastery in the 17th century.

There are many cells for the monks, a kitchen wall ovens designed with semi-circular arches, and a pantry to store grain and wine. The altar of the monastery with the wooden ceiling and impressive monastic table are interesting to see also.