The new basilica and stavropegic Monastery of Theotokos (Virgin Mary) Molivdoskepastos of Konitsa is 17kms away from Konitsa and just 300m away from the Greek – Albanian borders, in a verdant region, in the confluence of two rivers. It was built by the byzantine Emperor, Constantinos IV Pogonatos (668 – 685) and it is one of the oldest Monasteries of Greece. It looks like a fortress, because of the tall walls around it and its 15m tall dome.
Its name is ‘Molivdoskepasti’ (covered with lead), because the whole roof of the Monastery was covered with lead leaves. The Turks took the lead in order to make bullets. Today, although its name is ‘Molivdoskepasti’, its roof is not covered with lead.
Since 1300AD, the Monastery had also worked as a school of manuscripts. During Turkish occupation, there also was the ‘Krifo Sholio’ (school during Turkish occupation that worked secretly, without Turks’ permission) of that region. In the 20th century, it was destroyed by the Italians and in 1943, it was bombed by the armed forces of the Nazis and its cells were destroyed. The most important treasure of the Monastery is the thaumaturgical icon of Virgin Mary. It was made by the Emperor himself. Its miracles are numerous and particularly it helped married couples to have children. Since 1988, the Monastery has been active, as it has had four monks, until now, and it has also offered a lot to the society.
In the yard of the Monastery, behind the Sanctuary of the church, there is the tomb of the late bishop of Konitsa, Sevastianos (died in 1994), who was the leader of the struggle of North Epirus.
The Monastery celebrates on the Day of the Dormition of Virgin Mary (1st August). On that day, a vigil takes place and hundreds of pilgrims go there.
Phone number of the Monastery: 26550-24175