Iera Moni Katharon
Iera Moni Katharon, the Virgin Mary (Panagia) at Kathara as it is also called, is a site of pilgrimage and a reference point for anyone who comes from Ithaca. It is built on the southeastern peak of the Homeric Mountain Nirito, in a beautiful location, 600m from the sea and 15 kilometers from Vathi. Iera Moni Katharon is built opposite of the bay of the harbor of Ithaca, so that the steeple is visible from every part from the south of the island.
The life of Iera Moni Katharon starts around 1696. According to tradition, the monastery was thus named, because the icon of Virgin Mary was found untouched in burning “kathara”, dry vegetation, bushes, in the exact spot where the monastery was built. Since then it stands in this place, kept in very good condition. It is dedicated to Virgin Mary (Panagia) and it is celebrated on September 8.
The bell tower of Iera Moni Katharon was destroyed by the earthquakes of 1953 and was later rebuilt. It offers a unique view of Ithaca. You can see Kefalonia and the whole southern part of Ithaca. It is going to feel like you are flying on an airplane, looking down at the island. Do not miss the chance to see the sun setting behind Fiskardo, Kefalonia.
On the eve of the celebration at Iera Moni Katharon, on 7 th September, a traditional feast is held in the courtyard, and, on the next day, a litany of the miraculous image to the steeple of the church.
See also the photographic tribute of terrabook.com to Iera Moni Katharon.