The Byzantine Monastery of Ypsilou is dedicated to Agios (Saint) Ioannis Theologos and is located to the western part of Lesvos. Since the 18th century it is known as ‘Moni Ypsilou’ (the Greek word ‘ypsilo’ means ‘high’), because it’s built on the top of a high mountain, called Ordymnos Mount.
Reaching the Monastery, the visitors are impressed from its architectural structure- it looks like a fortress- with battlements and a fortified tower. Throughout the centuries, in many cases, Monastery Ypsilou had to defend itself against invasions and offered shelter to the inhabitants of the area.
There are no many records about the history of the monastery, however, probably during Lesvos’s occupation from Ottomans, it have been dilapidated.
Different construction phases led to its current form. According to an extant inscription, the religious paintings belong to Antonios, an iconographer from Crete island, who decorated the church in 1684. On the west side of the church, the iconographer portrayed Loukas Euaggelistis painting Mother Virgin.
In the monastery there is a significantly historical library which includes 59 manuscripts and various valuable artifacts. In monastery’s archival record there are saved many official church documents (encyclicals, writings of the Church Fathers) and other very important ones.
The museum of the monastery is also very interesting and except for the above, includes great, precious and historical works of art of the 16th and 17th century.