Monastery of Vaidenitsa

Among the peaks of Mavrovouna and Taxiarchis of Taygetos in West Mani, on the eastern side of a ravine, there is the Monastery of Vaidenitsa or Voidenitsa. You can have access there either from Saidona or Exochori, about in the middle of the road between the two villages.

The name of the monastery probably comes from the Slavic word “Voda” meaning water or “Bodonitsa” meaning mill, watermill. After all, there are six very old watermills near the monastery and they served the villages of the region until the period of the Second World War. The Monastery of Vaidenitsa was fenced by a stone fence and along with the Monastery of Samuel and the tower of Kitrinaris, that are located nearby, were a mighty fortress triangle of defense.

The church of the Monastery is located outside the enclosure and is estimated to be newer. It does not have frescoes, but has a remarkable carved temple. We also see an inscription with an engraved cross and the date of 1807, on the stone pilaster on the left side of the entrance .

The Monastery of Vaidenitsa was formerly a refuge for Kleftarmatoli. During the Occupation Cypriots and British soldiers were hosted there and this was the cause of Italian invasion in 1942, resulting in burning down most of the buildings. Today we still can see the war tower with a vaulted roof and battlements, which visually communicates with the tower of Captain Kitriniaris.

In the past and until the interwar period there were monks in the monastery, which was a dependency of the Great Cave. The Gorge of Foneas begins from there and leads to the beach of Foneas to the east of Kardamyli.

The church of the Monastery of Vaidenitsa celebrates on September 8th and a feast takes place for believers from the nearby villages.

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