The monastery of Panagia Skopiotissa is located near the top of Mount Skopos in south-eastern Zakynthos. The monastery was constructed in 1624 within the ruins of an older monastery. The whole complex also acted as a watchtower for Zakynthos Town and a larger part of the island. The older monastery is thought to have been built on the site of an ancient temple to the Greek goddess, Artemis. The course is surrounded by the characteristic mediterranian vegetation and Maquis of the Ionian Islands. The katholikon (main church of the monastery) of the monastery of Panagia Skopiotissa is built according according to a Greek cross-plan with some small variations and a somewhat oval-shaped dome with eight sides. Interestingly, the general architectural style of the katholikon more closely resembles post-Byzantine designs similar to churches built in the Cyclades rather than the design preferred locally like the typical single-aisled basilica plan exemplified by Agios Nikolaos to Molou in Zakynthos Town. However, the oval-shaped dome references more Western traditions.
The interior of the katholikon of the monastery still features frescos dating to the late 17th century, icons (including the icon of Panagia Skopiotissa) and a marble iconostatis carved in the typical Baroque-inspired style of the island. A double-headed eagle (a symbol of adherence to Orthodoxy and the Byzantine empire) is located on the katholikon floor.
The view from the monastery of Panagia Skopiotissa is exceptional. The panoramic view is even better by climbing the rocky hill on the east side of the monastery complex. From here visitors can can see Zakynthos Town, the bay of Laganas, the Vasiliko peninsula, the Peloponnese and Kefalonia. Practically, the whole island can be seen from this vantage point which is the reason it was also used as a watchtower.
Close to the village of Argassi you will find Mount Skopos which has some amazing panoramic views of this area. Its highest altitude is 492m. The mountain of Skopos is on the southeast side of Zakynthos and it had strategic importance in the history of the island from ancient times. The gorgeous panoramic view will fascinate you at every point of the route, which ends with a technical descend to Laganas Bay.
Panagia Skopiotissa Location5.8 km from city center of Argassi
Venetian bridge of Argassi
Argassi Bridge is built at the outfall of a river and is today ruined, located 10 metres from the seashore, in the small harbour of Argassi. The bridge was originally constructed in 1885 and consists of three arches.explore