Varlaam Monastery

The Holy monastery of Varlaam is the second largest monastery after Great Meteoron monastery , located on an imposing rock exactly opposite of it.

The History

The monastery Varlaam owes its name to the hermit-anchorite Varlaam, who first inhabited the rock in the 14th century. The history of the monastery begins substantially from the early 16th century, when the rock settled and organized their priory the Ioannina brothers Theophanes and Nektarios Apsaras, descendants of the old continent Byzantine family. The Apsaras in 1518 renovated fundamentally the chapel of the Three Hierarchs, which was built on the site of the original Catholic monastery that was built by Varlaam, in 1536 built the winch tower and in 1541 built the present church dedicated to All Saints. In 1627 the chapel of the Three Hierarchs rebuilt in place of the Old Catholic who had built the Apsaras and in 1637 was decorated by the artistic crew of John priest and children, who came from Kalabaka.

The 3 phases

The primary church painting was done in three phases. In the first phase they were created, to 1548, by the famous iconographer Frangos Katelanos frescoes of the sanctuary and the nave. In the second phase, in 1566, the narthex was painted by the Thebians Kontaris George and the brother of Frangos sponsored by Antonios Apsaras, bishop of Vella of Ioannina. The last phase of the decoration (1780 and 1782) as evidenced by the inscription in the northwestern pillar, over the representation of the Virgin Mary, probably refers to a minor intervention which visible elements are indistinguishable. This last phase is part of the period during which the monastery continued to flourish, organized bibliographic laboratory and received generous donations from rulers of Wallachia.

Brother Christopher

Essential for the history of the monastery was the contribution of Brother Christopher, who during the 18th century ranked valuable archive and copied a number of historical texts. The monastery thanks to the strength of both distinguished in spiritual prosperity, and the participation in national struggles in recent years.


The visitor at the monastery after climbing the staircase meetings left the hospital, which was restored in recent years and is connected to the north side of the chapel of St. Anargyroi. Below right, the church and the tower of the winch. The monastery is a two-columned cruciform, Athonite type of church. The nave preceded spacious narthex, a four-column space with a dome. Northwest of the ledger is the Trapeza (dining room), which has been turned into a museum of relics of the monastery, the chapel of the Three Hierarchs, the hearth, the cells and the hostel. The chapel of the Three Hierarchs, which can be visited only with the permission of the monks, is a single-aisled wooden roofed church.


Varlaam - Opening Hours & Days

Summer Season

Monday 09:00 - 16:00
Tuesday 09:00 - 16:00
Wednesday 09:00 - 16:00
Thursday 09:00 - 16:00
Friday Closed
Saturday 09:00 - 16:00
Sunday 09:00 - 16:00

Winter Season

Monday 09:00 - 15:00
Tuesday 09:00 - 15:00
Wednesday 09:00 - 15:00
Thursday Closed
Friday Closed
Saturday 09:00 - 15:00
Sunday 09:00 - 15:00

Varlaam - Location

Varlaam - Contact Number

( +30 ) 24320 22278

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