To reach Tharri, turn left at the village intersection in Láerma (also signposted as Monastery of the Archangel Michael). Tharri It is surrounded by pine forests and is one of the most visited monasteries on the island. The beautiful complex has a precious Byzantine basilica of pale natural stone, the foundations of which date back to the 9th century.
Interior and wall paintings
As the inscriptions document, the frescoes in the sanctuary are mostly from 1506. The other murals were added later. The hagiography ιn the dome depicts Jesus Christ as a ruler of the world surrounded by 16 prophets. In the corners you can see the evangelists Mark, John, Luke and Matthew, below them frescoes with the archangels. Noteworthy is also the beautiful iconostasis with the two main icons representing Christ and Mary and flanked by two other icons. The remote monastery was reactivated under the leadership of the Metropolitan of Rhodes. However, the monks only open the door when the visitors are properly dressed. You will find covers to borrow at the entrance, so don't worry about dressing up before you go.
From the Byzantine monastery complex only the Katholikon is preserved. The temple underwent repeated changes in the context of reconstructions, with the more impactful undertaken in the 12th or the beginning of the 13th century, which altered the original form of the pre-existing royal wood-royal basilica erected in the 8th-9th c. The Katholikon today follows the architectural type of the free cross with a dome with the short eastern leg and an extended western one.
According to tradition, the monastery was founded by the daughter of a Byzantine emperor, a Byzantine Princess, who was plagued by a deadly illness and miraculously healed. The ship which transported her from Constantinople, traveled to the port of Lindos and from there she moved to the area of Tharrio. The water of the spring that was found there and the fresh air contributed to her recovery. In return for her healing, she erected the monastery. The fountain to be found today about 100m. southwest of the Katholikon and outside the precinct, is believed to be the same of which the princess was healed, and is considered as a holy water.
Regarding the etymology of the word Tharri, there are several versions, three of which are predominant:
- It is pre-Hellenic, such as several place names of Rhodes usually associated with ancient sites
- It is an evolution of the word "lithari", interpretation related to the existence of two megalithic monuments of the menhir and dolmen type in the northwest of the monastery
- It comes from the imperative of the ancient verbs θαρρῶ/θαρσῶ<θάρρει (= έχε θάρρος), meaning "To have courage". Therefore, the scriptures of Thari and Tharri are considered equally correct according to the version that is accepted.