Limonos Monastery (Moni Limonos) is the largest monastery in Lesvos and it has a significant historical importance. It is located northwest of Kaloni town, extended over a meadow (‘limonas’ in Greek). The monastery was founded in 1526 by Agios (St.) Ignatios and since then it has become a place of asceticism and worship, but also an important center of professional education. In the famous ‘Limoniada School’ many educated teachers taught, among whom was a monk scholar called Pachomios Rousanos.
The frescos that decorate the interior of the Monastery are amazing, dating back to 16th and 17th century. In the exterior of the main church (‘katholikon’), on the south side of the ‘Iero Vima’ there is a fountain from where the holy water (‘agiasmos’) flows. The fountain is very beautiful, built according to the Ottoman architecture.
The temple of the church is wooden-carved and covered in gold, following the Ottoman Baroque style. Its parapets represents pictures from the Holy Bible, while the rest of the temple is decorated with various depictions from the animal and plant kingdom.
Limonos Monastery is one of the wealthiest monasteries in the Aegean area, as it has a collection of valuable artifacts, like Byzantine and post Byzantine manuscripts, icons, documents, sacred vestments, liturgical vessels, holy relics and folkloric exhibits. The library includes about 5,000 volumes of books.
The main church and its courtyard are inaccessible for women, except for Agios Ignatios feast day (14th October), when the admission to the courtyard is permitted.
Today, Limonos Monastery continues its important spiritual, social and charity work. It houses a folklore and geology museum, a traditional local home and an old people’s home.