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Daphni Monastery or Dafni Monastery

Daphni Monastery

Daphni Monastery or Dafni Monastery is situated 10 km (6 mi) Northwest of Athens in the Attica region in Greece. Daphni Monastery is situated on the Sacred Way that connected Athens and sacred site of Eleusis. The site is open to the public and tourists are allowed to venture into religious complex, however several of the structures are closed to the public due to reconstruction. There is no significant security and if you feel like sneaking inside it is possible to take a peak inside.



Location: 10 km (6 mi) Northwest of Athens, Attica  Map

Found: 6th century

Tel. +30 210 581 1558






Daphni Monastery History


Daphni Monastery was found in the 6th century. It was constructed on a site of Ancient pagan sanctuary of Appollo Daphnaios. Daphni Monastery was destroyed during Goth invasion in 395 AD. One of the columns that remained from the old temple was reused in the construction of the church. Others were removed by Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin, who transported to London. The main church of the Daphni Monastery compound (catholicon) was constructed in the 11th century AD and its mosaics were added in the early Comnenan period in the early 12th century.


Roman Catholic Church launched a Fourth Crusade in 1204 that resulted in captured Konstantinopol (capital of Byzantine Empire). Just a year later Crusaders took the monastery. Otho de la Roche, Duke of Athens, transferred the Greek Orthodox Monastery into Roman Catholic Cistercian Abbey of Bellevaux. Upon his death he was buried here. Ironically new invaders, this time Ottoman Turks, kicked out the monks and transferred it back to the Orthodox Christians in 1458. The abbey didn't return back to its former glory and many parts of the complex were abandoned. Parts of the living quarters have been used by the Turkish military as their barracks. During the War of Independence the Turks punished local rebels by disbanding the monastery in 1821. After Greece earned its dependence the site lay abandoned until 1888. Currently Daphni Monastery site is under reconstruction.













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