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.

Map location for Kalopetra Monastery

Kalopetra Monastery Rhodes Greece map

Article topics

Related articles

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

Popular resorts, bustling with life, important archaeological sites, picturesque villages and beaches perfect for windsurfing await the visitor of this side of Rhodes.

Topics: Churches and Monasteries

Read more about The west coast of Rhodes: Windurfers Paradise

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


Let us know what you think about Kalopetra Monastery - we would love to read your opinion!
Rate this article or place (optional)

From our blog

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

Rhodes has ample nightlife opportunities to offer. With crystal beaches that glimmer under the sun, and stunning blue waters surrounding ancient buildings, coastal caves and sheltered bays, museums, ancient ruins, castles and monasteries revealing its rich history, it’s no secret that Rhodes is a place thriving with culture, history and beauty. Equally impressive is the nightlife in Rhodes, which we will explore here.

Read more about Rhodes Nightlife

Looking for a unique accommodation experience for your stay on Rhodes? We handpicked 10 + 1 of the most outstanding hotels on the island for your vacation, each unique on it's own way.

Read more about Rhodes alternative and exceptional hotels

Rhodes is a historic island which has been a crossroad of civilizations in antiquity. Boasting a unique culture, diverse nature, impressive architecture, perfect weather, beautiful coastlines and friendly people helps to make the island the first choice holiday destination for hundreds of thousands of tourists each year. Yet the beauty of Rhodes doesn’t end on the surface. An amazing world of supreme beauty is waiting for you under the sea, for some extraordinary underwater experiences!

Read more about Diving in Rhodes

Rhodes is the walker's island, being the largest of the Dodecanese Island group at about 1398 square kilometers. It offers all kinds of different walking and treking routes including mountains, forestry, areas of historical interest, places of natural beauty, wine producing areas, coastal walks etc. You never have far to travel to get to the start of your walking route, eliminating the need for long bus journeys.

Read more about Walking and Trekking holidays in Rhodes

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 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

Feedback