Monastery of Hozoviotissa
“Nestled” on a steep rock, it looks like hanging off the cliff. The white-washed Monastery of Panagia Hozoviotissa stands there since 1088, when it was founded. The occasion for building it was an icon found, coming from Hozovo or Hozova of Palestine. A place called Hoziva or Koziva is located in the Holy Land near Jericho.
Tradition speaks of a woman in Asia at the time of iconoclasm, who threw the icon of the Virgin Mary into the sea so as not to be destroyed. The icon arrived at Agia Anna and the islanders just found it and decided to build a church there. No matter how hard they tried, they could not finalize the construction. All day long they were being building, but by morning it was being destroyed. Everyone was disappointed, and then the master builder asked the Virgin Mary to point out a place where She wished the Monastery to be built. The next day, the chisel, the basket and all the tools of the master builder were found hammered into the rock, high on a steep cliff, a sign from Virgin Mary that the Temple should be built in this point. The master’s chisel was nailed into the rock until 1956, when the expropriation of the Monastery buildings began. Then, it fell into the courtyard of the Monastery, and believers considered that a sign of the Virgin Mary’s reaction to expropriation. The chisel is today kept in a show case at the Church of the Monastery.
Regarding the history of the Monastery, it is worth mentioning that the Monastery was renovated during the reign of Alexios I Komnenos. During the Venetian occupation, there have been several alterations that are apparent to this day. It has always owned vast agricultural parcels in the nearby islands of Samos, Ikaria, Ios, Naxos, and Santorini. Its wealth was also a reason for ensuring its independence during the Ottoman domination.
The monastery stands at 300 meters over the sea, its length is 40 meters and its width is just 5. Its dimensions are the ones that gave it the title “The Monastery of one wall”. Inside, there are narrow stone stairs that lead to its eight floors and connect the parts of the monastery, namely the cells, the dining room, the galleys, the ovens, the storerooms.
(a kind of marshmallow).
When entering the Monastery, you should be decently dressed in trousers pants or a long skirt and a short-sleeved blouse or shirt.
Panagia Hozoviotissa celebrates on November the 21st.