Daphni Monastery

The Monastery of Daphni, Daphni also written (Greek Μονή Δαφνίου, Moní Dafniou ) in Athens belongs together with the monasteries Hosios Loukas at Delphi and Nea Moni of Chios to the three most important Greek religious buildings of the 11th century. It is located nine kilometers west-northwest of the center of Athens to a low pass through the Egaleo Mountains in which members of the community Chaidari suburb of Dafni. It is especially known for its mosaics and since 1990 a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The name " Daphne " ( ancient Greek δάφνη, Daphne ) means laurel ', the sacred plant of the god Apollo.


Long ago the monastery in its place was probably an ancient sanctuary of the god Apollo. In the 5th century, an early Christian church was built in this place, which was in 1080 replaced by the present system. In 1206 it was passed in the wake of the Fourth Crusade by the Franks, who had conquered Athens, from the Frankish Otto de la Roche, Great lord of Thebes and Athens, the Cistercian order, more monks of the monastery Bellevaux that his great-grandfather in Franche -Comté had founded. This was part of the project of Otto to introduce a Latin church system in his reign, as well as his family monastery. The Cistercians were to 1458th

Since the start of the Turkish occupation of Athens in 1458, the monastery was inhabited by Orthodox monks who made ​​great contributions to the national liberation struggle contributed to 1821. The Monastery of Daphni, however, fell and was dissolved in 1821 still under Ottoman administration.

In the 19th century the plant for a short time was home to a sanatorium.

The monastery was included in the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO in 1990. It was an earthquake severely damaged in 1999 and since then undergoes a lengthy renovation. Since October 15, 2008 at least the monastery courtyard is accessible again.

At the monastery is held annually in the fall at a popular tourist wine festival takes place where the sweet Mavrodafni can be tasted.


In art history the creator of mosaics of Daphni and his workshop are known as masters of Daphni. The representations of a world ruled by rulers Christ Pantocrator heavenly and earthly cosmos are considered one of the greatest works of Byzantine art, an example of art-making in a "golden age" Greek- Byzantine art in the 11th century.