The lovely Panagia Kastriani Monastery is located on the northern side of the island, about 10 km from Loulida, the capital of Kea. Dedicated to the Virgin Mary, the monastery was named Kastriani since it was built on Kastri hill. According to the local tradition, around 1700 AD, some shepherds saw a light on top of Kastri hill and when they climbed up, they found a icon of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. On this spot (they considered that the Virgin Mary herself chose that site), they built a small church that survives till today (lower level). In 1912, a larger church was built (upper level). The whole complex was done by gifts and offerings of the faithful people. Besides the bell tower, new structures have been added to the monastery's complex, such as rooms for guests, dining room, cells and more. Overall, this is a quaint and peaceful monastery, beautifully painted in blue and white. Its best feature is the breathtaking view to the Aegean Sea and the island of Andros. Wonderful place to visit. Highly recommended.
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