#209 Monastery of the Birth of Mary (Rovelista)


The monastery of the Holy Mother of Rovelista, also known as 'Lady' of the mountainous Arta is located 30 km east of Arta in the middle of a green hillside in the Veletzikou area.


Construction Data

It is a cross-roofed vaulted basilica with an aisle, a dome and dances.

In 1854, the Turkish army completely destroyed the monastery, but thanks to the sacrifice of the monks the very old image of the Virgin, a large brocade epitaph and chalices of the 16th century - all of Russian origin were saved. In 1856, the cells and the small church were rebuilt.1

However, a sequence of earthquakes brought about a severe blow to the temple which led to its demolishment in 1976. A large new church, a cruciform with a dome was built in that place, which may not have the grandeur of the past, but blends perfectly with its surroundings.

Historical Data

In this case, words cannot describe the natural beauty that surrounds the monastery. The simple architecture combined with the beautiful landscape give visitors a feeling of peace and wellbeing.

The data that we have acquired about the history and the date of construction of the monastery are minimal and confusing. According to Serafim Xenopoulos the original church was built around the 10th century.

The monastery is dedicated to the Nativity of the Virgin and its name came from a word that means downhill and is related to the foundation of the monastery. According to oral tradition, the place where the temple was built was chosen by the Virgin herself in order to observe the mountains that lie in front of it.

Therefore, according to this tradition, "the icon of the Virgin "went downhill" from the point that was designated by the bishop of Velentzikou to have the temple on it, to a place elsewhere in a distant forest, where a shepherd that was led to that place by the light that shone in the same spot every night found it. The miracle was interpreted as a wish of the Virgin to have the temple built on the spot where her icon was constantly shifted, and thus the monastery was built. "2

There is little information about the

There is little data regarding the history of the original church. But from these few things we know, we understand the historical significance of the monastery for the residents of the area. It is believed that during the Ottoman Reign a compilation seminary for priests of the diocese of Radovizion operated there. Also the monastery was used as a refuge and base for the fighters during the revolution.

Nowadays it operates as an active nunnery and eminently a monastic pilgrimage of the county.

The monastery also goes by the name "Lady Moschovitissa 'as it is believed that her icon was brought from Russia by a monk.

Additional information of historical, cultural and tourism interest

The Regional Unity of Arta is littered with landscapes and points of particular archaeological, historical, environmental, religious, architectural interest. Part of all this natural beauty is of course the municipality of Georgios Karaiskakis.

Therefore, the municipality of G. Karaiskakis consists of the oldest municipalities of Iraclias, Karaiskakis Tetrafilia.Seat of the municipality is Upper Kalentini and the Springs are considered historic seat . The communities that make up the municipality are the municipalities: Dimario, Diasella, Klidiou, Petras, Skoulikaria, Upper Kalentini, Velentzikou, Dichomoiriou, Retsianon, Elatis, Kastaneas, Megaloxaris, Messopyrgos, Miliani, Pigon.

Specifically, the municipality saved many archaeological discoveries of classical (ie. Ancient cemetery on the way to the place "Zigos"), Byzantine and post-Byzantine period (many churches and monasteries), which distinguished between the Church of St. Astrochori Barbara in the "Red church" and the monastery of Rovelistas community rug, the monastery in the village Seltsou Sources). Also, the stone structures are quite honorable (excellent is the stone bridge at "Kamara Plakovitsas" in Diasella the Korakogefyro, of great historical importance in the village Piges is the bridge, the bridge of the Upper Vratsista Kalentini, but also the community Diavologefyro rug) and pre-industrial buildings (eg. fulling and the watermill at "River Plakovitsa" the watermill, and a fulling mantani of Ag. Varvara) compose the image of this magnificent landscape in the mind of the visitors over time.

Apart from the points of natural-cultural-historical interest, the visitor will be able to exploit a wide range of options live alternative tourism, which unfolded before his eyes. Such choices are the water routes and Canoe Kayak Rafting, at the technical lake of Pournariou and Arachtos respectively. Other activities include horse riding, cycling (eg. Trail bike, 80 km long that passes by: Diaselo- Chelona - Kalentini - Velentziko - Diasolo) hiking (in the mountains of Tzoumerkon, Xerovounio and Gavrogos), hiking in the forest (eg in spruce forest on the route between Giannioti and Skoulikaria), paragliding, participation in health tourism (Spas Chanopoulos) and numerous local traditions and customs (festivals, celebrations, etc.) like the famous Karaiskakeia, the Feast Provatina etc. All these complete the range of activities of alternative tourism, offering new experiences through nature, revealing its most primal form.