Religion is an integral part of the character, history and social life of Samos as it has always been the main spiritual link.
Monasteries, Churches, Chapels
The island is dotted with chapels, metochions and monasteries, dating from the 16th century onwards, and there are ecclesiastical buildings from the 11th century. The most important of these are:
Agia Zoni Monastery
built in 1695. Located in the valley of Vlamari, with frescoes of the 17th century, a wooden templon and a remarkable library of patriarchal documents and precious objects.
Zoodochos Pigi Monastery
built in the mid 18th century, at an altitude of about 400 metres with panoramic views of the coast of Asia Minor. Inside the monastery, visitors can see the magnificent wooden templon with marble columns from the ancient temple of Miletus.
Panagia Spiliani Monastery
located on the hill above Pythagorio. The namesake chapel is built in a cave that was a place of worship since antiquity, where holy water flows.
Timios Stavros Monastery
near Mavratzaioi. Church of the 17th century with a three-aisled domed basilica. There, a gilded carved pulpit and an impressive bishop's throne are kept.
Megali Panagia Monastery
near Koumaradaioi, with beautiful frescoes of the 16th century and a carved gilded bishop's throne, a pulpit and a templon of the 18th century.
Panagia Vrontiani Monastery
in Vourliotes. It is the oldest monastery of the island (1566) with a single-aisle domed basilica. Inside the Monastery, a gilded carved wooden templon, an imposing carved wooden throne and characteristic frescoes.
Agia Triada Monastery
in Mytilinioi. It is the most recent monastery of the island (1824) with a magnificent marble templon and a silver icon of Zoodochos Pigi. According to tradition, the dome rests on columns of a building of ancient Samos.
Prophetis Elias Monastery
northwest of Karlovasi, on the way to Konteika. The church is a single-aisle basilica with a dome. The brick-built peristyle is of unique architecture.
a remote chapel on the southeast side of Kerkis. Built in a cave and at an altitude of 320 metres up to a steep cliff.
on a steep slope of Kerkis above Marathokampos at an altitude of 700 metres. It is considered to be one of the oldest churches of Samos.
Zoodochos Pigi Monastery in Kakoperato
in a deserted gorge, at an altitude of 600 metres near the village Kosmadaioi.
Panagia Makrini is a remote chapel built in a cave above the village Kallithea. In the past, in the caves of the verdant region eremites used to shelter.
The Metamorphosis Church in Potami of Karlovasi, also known as “Panagia tou Potamiou”. It belongs to the type of cruciform simple four-columned temple. The marble columns that support the dome probably come from an ancient monument. In the building, we note three styles: Byzantine, Genoese and modern.
Agios Ioannis Eleimonas is located on the southwest side of Samos, over the picturesque bay, with views to Katergo islet and Fournoi.
Religious festivals and fairs
Benchmarks for Samos social life are the religious festivals. The greatest takes place on 6th of August, during which the Transfiguration of Christ is celebrated in Pythagorio, the victorious sea battle of 1824 when “Jesus saved Samos”. The following are some important religious festivals with unique customs: Easter, Zoodochos Pigi (17 April), Agios Ioannis Klidonas (24 June), Prophetis Elias (20 July), Panagia (The Assumption of the Virgin Mary) (15 August), Panagia Vrontiani (8 September), Timios Stavros (The Holy Cross) (14 September), Archangels day (11 November).