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

A list of the orchids of Rhodes, by George Pastrikos, a nature photographer and an empirical botanist. George has used a taxonomy which is up to date and in accordance to the newest literature but he has done some additions and modifications in order to adapt the list to his own observations in the field.

Read more about Orchids of Rhodes

2019 is another promising year for cycling events in Rhodes island. With the amazingly variable landscapes that can be friendly for beginners but at the same time advanced cyclists can find great challenges as well. Besides, what better location for a cycling event than a place blessed with more than 300 shinny days every year, where the local’s hospitality is routine and the famous Greek gastronomy approaches the peak of traditional tastes?

Read more about Rhodes cycling events 2019

For many of us, one of the best parts of being on vacation is taking photos trying to capture the magic of the place we are currently visiting. We have listed our top picks for photo-shooting on Rhodes.

Read more about Top Photography Locations on Rhodes, part 1

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

The way in which food and sweets are prepared in the different areas of Greece, including Rhodes, repeated in the course of the centuries, spread from area to area and from household to household, has contributed to the shaping of Traditional Greek Cuisine.

Read more about Food in Rhodes: Gastronomy & traditional diet

Rhodes’ miniature horse, or Rhodian Pony, is an endangered horse species found on the island of Rhodes in Greece. Efforts to save the breed began in 2001 by the "Phaethon" association, which succeeded in collecting and stabling the little horses, ensuring their survival, while sensitizing the local community to their plight. Though they are also known as Rhodian ponies they do not have typical pony traits, apart from their small size.

Read more about The miniature horse of Rhodes (Rhodian Pony)

Rhodes has been awarded with 39 blue flags for it's crystal beaches by the Hellenic Society for the Protection of Nature (HSPN), the National Operator of the Blue Flag International Program in Greece. This makes the Rhodes the municipally with the highest count of Blue Flags, according to the HSPN.

Read more about Rhodes beaches have been awarded 39 blue flags in 2019

Feedback