Image © Rhodes Guide / RhodesGuide.com

Kalopetra Monastery, Rhodes

The Holy Monastery of Kalopetra (Kalopetra Monastery) dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary is located next to the Butterfly Valley, 8 km south of the village of Theologos and 23 km. from the city of Rhodes.

Built in a pine-covered mountainous area on the hillside of Mount Lefkopoda, "featuring a beautiful view", as reported by Edouard Biliotti and L 'abbe Cottret in their works for Rhodes in 1881, The Monastery of Kalopetra  functioned as a cloister, which was in great prosperity until the early 20th century.

It was founded by Alexandros Ypsilantis, a Greek prince, ruler of Wallachia and Moldavia, during his exile in Rhodes. Ypsilantis was engaged in various war activities against the Ottomans. His grandson was the leader of the "Filiki Eteria" (or, Society of Friends), a secret organization founded in 1814 in Odessa that began the Greek Revolution against the Ottoman occupation in 1821.

It is believed that Ypsilantis brought his daughter in the area to cure her from tuberculosis, as the water that sprung from a rock of the mountain was considered to be therapeutic. In gratitude, he founded this small monastery dedicated to Virgin Mary giving the name of "Kalopetra" that in Greek means good stone.


Its economic prosperity was based on the cultivation of the land, but also on the exploitation of the oil of the oriental sweetgum tree (Liquidambar orientalis), abundant in the area, which in liquid form had medicinal properties, and in solid form was used as incense. At the same time, the watermill in the adjoining valley secured the required annual flour harvest, while beekeeping and sericulture seemed to be equally developed.

Kalopetra Monastery © Rhodes Guide / RhodesGuide.com

The katholikon of the Kalopetra Monastery was built in 1865 on the site of an older church dating back to 1784, which was destroyed by the earthquakes that struck the island between 1856 and 1863. There are however indications that this church predated the conquest of Rhodes by the Ottomans, forming part of a wider control and communication network of the island's inland. In its present form the katholikon is a one-room building measuring 15x7m, with Gothic features of the cross-class churches of the Dodecanese and individual morphological elements with Ottoman influences.

The iconostasis is wood-carved, partially gold-plated, and follows the typical tripartite division in height. It is believed to have been built before 1862, as this chronology is preserved in the despotic icon of the Virgin, the work of the Cretan Nicholas Hadjiioannou, who also created the despotic image of Christ. The image of the Assumption of the Virgin is housed in a separate pilgrim on the southern wall to the right of the iconostasis. As it bears the date of 1812, it is obvious that it comes from the earlier church built by Al. Ypsilantis.

Article topics

Related articles

Mandriko is situated on the western coast between Kalavarda and Kamiros Scala. It is a small village which produces almost 1/3 of all vegetables for the whole island, and from the road passing through, you can make out a large number of green houses and agricultural fields.

Topics: Churches and Monasteries

Read more about Mandriko

The old monastery of Tsambika is built on top of a hill with gorgeous view to the sea and the surrounding area, offering breathtaking views over the beaches of Tsambika and Kolymbia.

Topics: Churches and Monasteries

Read more about Tsambika Monastery

Tharri Monastery is surrounded by nature, a perfect place to experience calmness and tranquility. The Monastery is well known for its hospitality and attracts many visitors.

Topics: Churches and Monasteries

Read more about Tharri Monastery


Kalopetra Monastery reviews & comments

click here to add your review!
No reviews yet. Be the first to write one using the form below!

Let us know what you think about Kalopetra Monastery - your opinion matters!
Rate this article or place (optional)

From our blog

The Greek islands bask under endless sunshine from April to the end of October. And arguably the best of the weather is in the Dodecanese chain, 260 miles south-east of Athens and within a Zorba’s dance-step of Turkey. Dodeca means 12 in Greek, but in fact there are 16 islands here, the best-known being Rhodes and Kos. With such long summers, there’s plenty of time to plonk yourself down on a sun lounger on a Dodecanese beach.

Read more about Dodecanese islands. Rhodes and Symi are fit for the Gods

In early April 2010 Susan, Richard and myself (Stephen) thought we would look at re-offering the easy walk from Laerma to Agios Isidoros which we stopped doing after the fire in July 2008 that devastated this area, the walk in question is on a dirt track road and is approx 12km (7.5miles) long, it takes about 3-4hrs to walk at a leisurely pace.

Read more about Regeneration of the ecology after the the fire of 2008

On Sunday 14th April 2019, runners will have the opportunity to run in Rhodes, on a flat course with the spectacular views of the deep blue Aegean Sea, along the coastline and the walls of the Medieval Town of Rhodes, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Read more about Roads to Rhodes Marathon 2019

As summer season 2021 has kicked in, we are looking at some of the videos that tell us experiences from people who are visiting the island of Rhodes!

Read more about Rhodes Summer Holidays 2021

Looking for reasons and inspiration to visit Rhodes island? Rhodes offers unique opportunities to combine relaxation, memorable experiences and exciting activities. We give you 5 important reasons to visit and spend your holidays in Rhodes.

Read more about 5 Reasons to visit Rhodes island

Time to have a look to some of the best breakfast and brunch in Rhodes. There is nothing more glorious than starting a day with plenty of time for a breakfast, when you want a table filled with delights, baked goodies and drizzled everything.

Read more about Food in Rhodes: Top places for breakfast and brunch

The 7th Marathon of Rhodes is organized by the Region of South Aegean, EAS SEGAS Dodecanese, DOOPAR of the Municipality of Rhodes and is supported by the Rhodes Hoteliers Association. It is under the auspices of the Greek Tourism Organization and is included in the official calendar of AIMS.

Read more about Roads to Rhodes Marathon 2020

Feedback