The beginning of the monastic life on the rock of Anapafsas is placed in the 14th century and the name of the monastery probably due to old founder. In this phase belongs the chapel of St. Anthony, the walls of which still exists the remains of frescoes. The monastery was renovated in the first decade of the 16th century. When Larissa Metropolitan St. Dionysius the Merciful and the Exarch Stagon monk Nikanor, who are the founders of the monastery, erected the present church, which was painted by the famous Cretan painter Theophanes Strelitzas in 1527. From the first decade of the 20th century. The monastery was abandoned and began to decay. In the 1960s, he renovated and restored by the Archaeological Service.
The construction and installation of the monastery (tall rectangular building with successive levels) adapted to the capabilities of the very small area of the plateau of the rock in which it was built. Going up the first staircase that was built you see the small chapel of St. Anthony and the crypt, where previously stored codes and heirlooms. On the walls of the chapel remains frescoes of the 14th century. On the next floor is built the church of the monastery, a small single room, almost square space preceded by a large enough in relation to the church narthex (lite). Upstairs are the old bank of the monastery, which was restored and today serves as the official residence (hostel), the ossuary and the renovated, since 1971, church of St. John the Baptist.
The frescoes decorating the little church of the monastery are considered among the most important sets of post-Byzantine painting, as it is the oldest known signed work of Theophanes. In the inscription above the entrance leading from the narthex to the nave preserved the signature of the artist “hand of the monk Theophanes of Crete Strelitzas. On vertical surfaces of the stent dominate large-figured compositions. On the north wall of the narthex placed the imposing representation of the Second Coming, while the west wall illustrated the Dormition of Efraim the Syrian and rare depiction of Adam giving names to the animals. In the two other walls in the lower zone represented full-length saints and saints among whom the donors stand, Dionysius Larissa Metropolitan and Exarch Stagon Nicanor next to Virgin Mary and St. Athanasius the Meteorite.
In the upper zone depicted the Assumption of St. Nicholas and scenes from the miracles of Christ. In the main temple at the top of the dome dominates the Almighty, below illustrates the liturgy and the Prophets and the spherical triangles depicts the four Evangelists. On the walls of the nave are depicted in the lower zone full length saints, little higher saints in stitharia and in the upper zone of the Twelve scenes from the life, passions and Resurrection of Christ. Given the large number of scenes that make up the iconography of the Catholic, whose surfaces murals were limited, many of these scenes are the size of a handheld image. Theofanis manages to introduce in the decoration of the Catholic Anapafsas except iconography sophisticated technique and style that characterizes the artistic production of portable icons of the Cretan School.
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42200 , Meteora - Kalabaka , Greece