Metamorphosis of Sotiras
Monastery of Metamorphosis of Sotiras: The Monastery of Sotiras, as it is called on Skopelos, is opposite the Monastery of Evangelismos and it was built in the late 15th and early 16th century. The monastery is a dependency of the Xenofon Monastery of Mount Athos. Archaeological investigations deem this monastery as one of the oldest of the island, although this was not identified by an ownership inscription.
In 1636 it was defined as a stavropegic Monastery by Patriarchal Sigillium, and in 1770 it was donated by its founders, the Evangalinos family, to the priest Paisios Kafsokalyvitis.
With the care and blessing of the bishop Alexios, it opens its doors to any pious visitor to the island, from April until late November, as it is ministered by the inviting presence of the Xenophon monastery steward, Father Dionyssios.
A characteristic feature of the monastery is the church (temple), as it copies the architecture of Mount Athos, a sign of the influence of Athos on the island of Skopelos in past years.
Inside there is the remarkable old temple, a work of the 16th century, with plant motifs without gilding or colouring.
The images are also of the same period and some of them are works of the famous Byzantine icon painter, Agorastos. The church also has a paved floor that was discovered recently and restored. Also, the restoration work of the old temple was recently completed.
It is worth noting that in 1821, mount athos fathers fled to the monastery carrying relics to protect them from the Turkish conqueror.
During your visit to the monastery, you will notice that it consists of two wings with the guest quarters, the hostel, the kitchen and the monk cells.
In the north wing one can find the chapels of Agios Ioannis Thelogos and Pammegiston Taxiarchon in a castellated building.
On the eastern side there is the monastery tower, which was used as an observatory and it protected the monks in times of raids from pirates.
Lastly, you can visit the area of the monastery with the souvenirs from Mount Athos and the book exhibition.
On festive days and Sundays there is a Service (there is no Service in other monasteries on the island), while in the period around the Assumption the Supplicatory Canon is sung in honor of the Virgin Mary.
On August 6 the monastery magnificently celebrates the biblical event of the Transfiguration of the Saviour.
On the eve, August 5, the Great Vespers is sung with the Breaking of Bread (Artoklasia), a “vigil” as the islanders report, with a traditional treat at the end.
On the day of the feast a prayer for the blessing of the grapes is read, and grapes are given out to the pilgrims.