Monastery of Velanidia
Founded in 1679, as indicated on a sign, the Monastery of Velanidia (Monastery of Zoodochos Pigi) is located about five kilometers to the north of Kalamata on the road leading to the villages Artemisia, Piges, Alagonia and Nedousa at an altitude of 300-400 meters.
The Monastery of Velanidia got its name from the ancient oak that was in the courtyard until the great earthquake of 1884. According to the legend the sacred icon of Zoodochos Pigi was found in this oak.
The Monastery of Velanidia, which was originally male and since 1966 became a female monastery, celebrates on first Friday after Easter.
Papaflessas started from this monastery on March 23, 1821 for the liberation of Kalamata, the first Greek city that was liberated from the Turkish rule. On 23 March each year, in commemoration of this day, the sacred flame of the revolution starts from the monastery of Velanidia and ends at Square of Kalamata.
The longsuffering monastery of Velanidia had serious damage three times: Firstly in 1825 by Ibrahim, secondly in 1943 by the Germans and the thirdly in 1986 by the strong earthquake. But in all three times, the monastery managed to recover and be restored.
The most important dependencies of monastery of Velanidia are Agios Dimitrios in Tourles and Agios Fanourios.