One of the most breathtaking scenery in whole Kefalonia can be found in the west coast of Lixouri, in the famous Kipouraion Monastery. It is situated at a distance of about 15km from Lixouri, on the road leading to Havriata (the balcony of the Ionian).
It’s establishment is calculated in the 17the century and takes its name from the many gardens that fathers owned in order to provide their offspring with the necessary livelihood. It is built on an upright rock on the sea. In 1759, the Archibishop Chrysanthos Petropoulos Paxinos builds the church of the monastery and it is dedicated to the Annunciation. Soon, a male priory is established there. In 1915, a French commander ship bombards the Monastery by accident, as through the thick fog they watch the smoke from the chimney and mistake it for an enemy ship. The destructive earthquakes of 1953, further affect the Monastery.
In 1964, only the Monastery’s nave is rebuilt while the other buildings are constructed during the 90’s, with personal work of the only monk who still lives in the Monastery.
Inside the Monastery, one can worship the thaumaturgic icon of the Annunciation as well as the skulls of the Sacred Founders of Saint Chrysanthos Monastery, Constantios and Efrosyni. In addition, a piece of the True Cross which was donated to the Monastery by the Russian Prince Vladimir Dolgoroukis in the year 1862 can be found there. In an elegant bottle glass, there is Holy Myrrh of Saint Demetrious Myrovlitis, dated back to the 7th century. Visitors can even worship relics of various Saints, as well as the thaumaturgic icon of Saint Paraskevi, the only remnant of the ruined Monastery of Tafiou. At present, only the Monastery’s ruins have been saved and it is considered to be merged with Kipouraion Monastery. One should also not forget to admire the wooden retable of the Monastery.
In the old days, there were quite a few monks in the Monastery, who were preoccupied with the cultivation of the property. Today only one monk, Efsevios, resides there and greets visitors on March 25th and September 14th, the days when the Monastery celebrates its Saints. Nonetheless, if you happen to pass by on any other day, you will be able to experience warm hospitality and you will spend your time gazing at the sea with him.
Also, visitors should not miss the unique sunset from the Monastery’s courtyard in the deep, blue waters of the Ionian Sea. The breathtaking scenery which harmoniously combines the untrodden mountain with the trackless sea is very reminiscent of Karoulia in Mount Athos which, in connection with its spiritual treasures, is definitely an attraction for visitors.