Thirteen kilometers from Nafplio and six from the closest village "Agios Adrianos", at the bottom of Arachnaio mountain, you will find the monastery of St. Demetrios Karakalas. It is a unique monastery that maintain the privilege of gathering so many visitors, as no other monastery in Argolis.
The Monastery of "Agios Dimitrios Karakalas" is also called the Monastery of Xerocasteli, although only the first name is now used.
The locals have been saying for years: "let's go to Karacala", meaning only the Monastery.
Where the monastery is, there used to be a Frankish Tower (otherwise called Castelli), a remnant of an old Castle, which the locals called Xerocastelli (a dry castle). When the Turks came, they kept the same name, Xerocasteli, which in their language is called: karakule. The latter now prevailed with the slightest alteration in the end, and until today it is called, Karakala Monastery. A second version, that has no historical basis, connects the name of the monastery with the famous and historic Monastery of Karakalos, on Mount Athos.
The exact date of construction of the monastery is not certain, it may be from the 11th century. From the state records it seems that the monastery was a kind of fortress during the years of the Greek Revolution and was used as a armoury of the Fighters.
Did you know that?
The monastery consists of five churches: Agia Paraskevi, Agia Irini Chrysovalantou, Panagia Portaitissa, Agios Nektarios and Saint Ephraim of Syros.
The form and architecture, which the Monastery maintained until the end of the 18th century, were largely lost in the early 19th century, when it was destroyed by fire. Part of its surviving materials were used at about the same time, in the construction of the Ottoman mosque, that housed the First Greek Parliament (called "Vouleftiko"). The katholikon was rebuilt in 1871 and partially the construction and repair of the other parts of the current complex of the Monastery took place, around and on what was left of the oldest.
In the monastery you can perform Holy Baptisms.
Nowadays it is a nunnery.
Worth to see
On the celebration of St. Demetrius, on the great celebrations of Christmas, Easter, on the pleas of the 15th of August (assumption of the Virgin Mary), this monastery evokes a restrained contrition, a fragrance of tender care of the soul, along with the aroma of flowers, incense and white-wash.
The monastery is also known for its magnificent needlework and embroidery make the nuns, which display and sell in a small exhibition if the monastery.
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