The Key to the Door

In my last post (Tiny Joys), I mentioned a peaceful early evening walk along the Voidomatis river in Zagori (Epirus, Greece) along a cobbled path (kalderimi) to the Monastery of Spiliotissa. It was a lovely walk, but when we arrived at our destination, the door to the Monastery was locked.

It was a mild disappointment, but the walk was lovely. However, a few days later, armed with the key, we went back. The small one is for the new lock on the outer door to the courtyard, the huge one to the actual monastery.

This time, we were able to open the door.

The monastery is very small with a lovely wall fresco outside, above the door.

The interior (including a bat which we disturbed) contained a small room on the ground floor for the refrectory with the kitchen off of this. A half flight of stairs led to the chapel, complete with 17th-century frescos. They are unpublished, so I cannot show them to you, but they included a frieze of the ‘Medical Saints’ (the twin Anargyri and Pantelimon), warrior saints (Michael, Demetrius), the glamorous royal couple Constantine and Eleni (i.e. Helen), and a female Saint (whose name I could not find) holding the horns of a little blue devil in one hand and a raised ritual double axe in another. Interestingly, the blue body of the devil had been pitted and scored. The entire surface of the small chapel was covered with saints – individually in medallions, gathered in groups, shown at almost full height. Up another half flight of stairs were the cells where the monks lived which you can see from the exterior above the doorway.

The benefits of having the key to the door!

Have a look at Norm’s blog, Thursday Doors for more stories of fascinating buildings and their doors.


  1. Wow this must have been quite the visit. I always find the history in places like this so fascinating. I would love to see how the artist managed to do that Fresco halfway up that wall.


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