Monastery Seltsou

10/12/2015

From the buildings of the old monastery survives only integer the temple and around the dilapidated cells. The church was founded in 1697, so were the frescoes and iconostasis, and is dedicated to the Assumption.

Located on the eastern extremity of the county, at some distance from the Sources village, perched on a steep offshoot of Tzoumerka, the Kokkinolakkou whose walk quietly licking the waters of the river Acheloos or Aspropotamos as they say it. From the buildings of the old monastery, the church survives only integer and around the ruined cells of the 18th century, from which a recently restored and others are reconstructed now. The temple is dedicated to the Virgin Mary but celebrates on August 23, and it is a dependency of the monastery Rovelista.

The church was founded in 1697, as evidenced by written inscription on the lintel of the door leading from the main church in the narthex. From portraits inscribed there in the niche of the southern dance we learn that founders of the church are the captains of Arta Nikos and Apostolis, unidentified surnames.

It aisled vaulted basilica Athonite type, also with vaulted narthex. Instead the dome is here -as in the temple of Megalocharis- transverse scaphoid dome, which externally appears as a rectangular gallery covered with mansard roof, but rounded internal corners and takes the form of the dome. On the long sides of the temple there are three-sided dances that reach the roof and, in the northwest corner are the foundations open portico. The masonry is simple without external decoration. Because the internal vaults of the temple is contoured, the PLAKOTO roof presents a stepped configuration, giving the entire building diversity and grace.

Inside the walls of the church is full of exceptional art images, which luckily survived in excellent condition. On the ktitoriki inscription we learn that the written decoration of the church was made in 1697 by two painters Artinos: someone priest Nicholas and his son. The frescoes are known in the years of Ottoman assembly zones. The full-length saints of the lower belt bearing exerga halos with relief decoration. Special interest presents a mural in southern dance, which depicted both mystakoforoi founders hold “likeness” of the church. These portraits laity beyond their rarity as ecclesiastical iconography matter and their value as a historical source for the monument itself, acquire wider significance because they bear witness to both early national awakening of the enslaved residents of the mountainous Arta. From the frescoes of the narthex, impression showing the martyrdoms of Saints, the Second Coming with the popular representations of the punishing sinners, and scenes inspired from the Apocalypse. From the same period in the 17th century murals and exquisite art carved iconostasis with rich decoration, and five icons, which are removed and stored for safety reasons. From the archival wealth of the monastery survived some liturgical books of the 17th and 18th century, valuable for the many “remembrances” containing.

But what made famous monastery Seltsou not so aesthetic and artistic value as the story: There was played the last act of the drama of the persecuted from their ancestral homes Souli. In the monastery closed in 1804 over a thousand Souli (agonists and women) with leader Kitsos Botsari, to escape from the fury of Tourkolvanon of Ali Pasha. On April 23-after three-month siege by multiple echthrous- conquered betrayed the monastery. During the heroic exit that tried the Souli, saved from slaughter only sixty-five, but on the hundred amachous- mainly gynaikopaida- not to fall into the hands of barbarians, they chose to break down a precipice of 300 meters thus highlighting the Seltsou national altar similar or superior to that of Zalogo.

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