Sustainable Mediterranean Construction

Sustainable Mediterranean Construction

THE KESSARIANI MONASTERY. A significant testimony of Byzantine architecture


Emanuele La Mantia

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The Monastery of Kessariani, immersed in the uncontaminated nature of the forest on the west slope of Mount Immitis, is one of the bestpreserved Byzantine monuments not only of Attica but of all Greece.
The Monastery (Fig01), at a height of 350 meters above sea level, is about ten kilometers from the center of the Hellenic capital. The morphology of the place allows visitors to the Monastery, although well hidden in the forest, to admire the panorama not only of most of the Attica basin but also of some islands in the Saronic Gulf.
Perhaps its topographical position has allowed the Monastery to reach our days in good condition.
On the same slope there are also other monasteries and churches: the Monastery of Asteriou, whose foundation for some historians dates back to the late tenth century, while for other scholars it dates back to the post- Byzantine period, between 1453 and 1700; the Monastery of San Giovanni Teologo and that of San Giovanni il Cacciatore, also known as the Monastery of the Philosophers; the churches of San Marco and Taksiarchi.
Their presence allows us to think that in the middle Byzantine era the area was preferred for the construction of sacred spaces: in fact, not far from the city and rich in natural resources such as olive trees and vineyards and water springs, still present today, constituted a self-sufficient and independent area.


SMC N.10 2019



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