Agia Lavra Monastery in Kalavryta, Peloponnese
Kalavryta Churches & Monasteries - The monastery of Agia Lavra is situated among trees and lush vegetation, 5 km from the town of Kalavryta in the Peloponnese. It consists of an imposing cluster of buildings at an altitude of 961m, which provides an open view of the Vouraikos river valley. On the right side of the court lies the famous small chapel where the Greek Revolution of 1821 against the Turks was declared. The Monastery of Agia Lavra is an important monument of the Peloponnese in Greece, built in 961 A.C. In 1585, it was completely destroyed by the Turks because the monastery would hide the Greek revolutionaries, but in 1689, it was rebuilt in its present location. The monastery has been through much destruction from the Turks, earthquakes, and fires. The most recent destruction was in 1943, when the Nazi troops burned the building and killed three monks who refused to abandon the monastery. Finally, in 1950, the monastery of Agia Lavra was rebuilt with the donations of pilgrims and the state's support.
Fortunately, some important historical items have survived these tragic events. In the monastery, we can see the first Greek flag, the Banner of the Revolution, which was raised to declare the Greek War of Independence on March 25th, 1821.
Every March 25th, the Monastery of Agia Lavra in Kalavryta celebrates the Greek Independence from the Turks with reenactments of the gathering of the Greek leaders and the raising of the Revolution's Banner.