The Monastery of Zoodochou Pigi is the largest monastery on the island and is located between Gavrio and Batsi. It is said that it started as a Byzantine school and only in 842 was it established as a Christian monastery. A silver icon that bears a date certifies that the Monastery of Zoodochou Pigi operated in the 14th century. Based on this image, you consider it as an official date in 1325 AD. while another document of the monastery mentions a date of 1400 AD.
The Monastery of Zoodochou Pigi was destroyed when the Franks left Andros. In 1578 it was renovated by monks and began to flourish welcoming new monks. The influence of the monastery was strengthened with works that took place in 1603 and 1717. The monk Ioannikos, a member of the friendly society, fortified the monastery from 1819 to 1831. He built new cells and various other spaces, spending his own and the monastery’s property. According to testimonies, at the end of the 17th century, the monastery had 100 monks. That number dropped to half in 1836.
In 1928 the monastery was transformed into a nunnery and remains so to this day.
The church of the monastery is of Byzantine style with a wood-carved iconostasis. In the monastery, there is a rich library with books and manuscripts. You will also find a museum, with sacred vestments and utensils. Also, the monastery has a small collection of prehistoric tools. Finally, the Monastery of Zoodochou Pigi celebrates on Easter Friday.
The Monastery of Zoodochou Pigi and its name
According to tradition, the Monastery of Zoodochou Pigi owes its construction to a miracle. One day, some workers were building a monastery. Every night, their tools mysteriously disappeared. A little further, a thirsty, visually impaired resident was looking for water. Along the way, he noticed a goat with its beard wet. He followed the goat and found a spring. Suddenly, a woman appeared in front of him. The blind man confessed his vision problem and the woman told him to wash his eyes with the spring water. His eyesight was healed and the woman revealed that she was the Virgin Mary. In addition, She told him to tell to the workers to leave the site where they were working and build the monastery in its current location. Thus how the monastery took the name Monastery of Zoodochos Pigi.