Monastery of Pantanasa


Its ruins are located on the north end of the county near Filippiada. Founded in the 13th century by Michael II.
Besides salvaged Byzantine monuments brighten Arta and region, there are others that unfortunately withstood the ravages of time and left leaving behind piles of rubble, from which may the researcher to form faint only image format the time of their glory.

One such monument is the monastery of Pantanassa to the right of the highway Arta -Ioanninon, shortly after Filippiada. It was one of the two monasteries founded by Despot of Epirus Michael II Doukas Aggelos Komninos as a sign of repentance for his wife Queen Theodora (later Saint) for misconduct showed towards it. Knowing that the other was the monastery of Kato Panagia, we can place the foundation of the monument in the 13th century and particularly in the decade 1250-1260. Seraphim speculates that the monastery was destroyed in 1692. An early Christian pulpit discovered in the area of ​​the monument, testifies that existed there long before church from the 13th century.

In 1971 he was cleared dense vegetation covering the monument was removed and the thick layer of backfill, so revealed the outline of the monastery buildings. The church consists of a square central space, sanctuary and narthex east it ends in three three-sided niches. In the central area found the bases of three columns, an element that clearly indicates that the church was cruciform with a dome in the style of the complex four-column.

The masonry -ap what allow us the few surviving parts of the walls to symperanoume- has the features of church architecture in the reign of Despot (wide use of bricks), like it was the pottery decoration. In the middle of the north side of the church was a pillar with sculptures western style.

At the height of the Sanctuary, and both sides of the building were built two domed chapels. The south was saved partly ruined after repairs became used and is still used as a place of temporary storage of the findings. Saved traces of frescoes of the 13th century, unworthy of a speech and do not allow us to form even a faint image of the written decoration of the monument. In the dome there are plenty of bricks and pottery decoration. He was dedicated to the memory of St. Basil. Recently repaired and renovated from the scholar Pan. Vokotopoulou.

During the excavations were found many worn sculptures and pottery, which were transferred to the archaeological warehouse of Arta. The most important from the sculpture finds a mutilated head of a bearded man with clear features western style. In one of the pillars of the temple was rough carved the name “John [Anna] Despo [her] crush” system, which shows that the 14th century was still used as a church Albanians Despots of Arta. Finally, they found the remains of walls and other buildings of the monastery.

Today, the once large and thriving royal monastery of Pantanassa lies in ruins in the valley of the Louros, suggesting -even with this tragic presence of at the glow of the old grandeur.

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