Nea Moni of Chios

Nea Moni (Greek Νέα Μονή Nea Moni, new monastery ' ) is the name of a Byzantine monastery on the Greek island of Chios. It belongs, together with the Monastery of Daphni Hosios Lukas in Athens and the monastery at Delphi to the three most important Greek religious buildings of the 11th century and is famous for its mosaics. In 1990, the three monasteries were incorporated as a joint World Heritage Site in the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. The monastery of Nea Moni is dedicated to the Assumption.


The monastery is located in a densely wooded with cypress valley 15 km west of Chios Town between Karyes and Avgonyma.


Before the monastery was founded in its place, was according to legend a small church, which was built by three monks, who had found this place a icon of the Virgin Mary on a Commiphoras.

The monastery was founded in 1042 by the Byzantine Emperor Constantine IX. Monómachos and his wife Empress Zoe donated. Constantine had praised in exile on the icon of the Holy Theotokos Lesbos, he would build a monastery at the site of the icon, when he would become Emperor. Constantine IX. achieved this through his marriage with the Empress Zoe.

For centuries the monastery was the most important religious center of the island of Chios. It reached the height of its power after the fall of the Byzantine Empire.

The influence and reputation of the monastery remained until 1822 received it after the massacre of Chios, the crimes committed by the Ottomans after the failed Greek uprising, many sought refuge in the monastery Chians. Most of them were killed, including 600 monks. The victims were in the Chapel of the Holy Cross, which is located next to the entrance gate of the monastery, buried.

The destruction by the Turks in 1822 ( arson, art theft and destruction of the library), but also the collapse of the dome and the bell tower by the earthquake of 1881 have caused great damage to the building.

1857 extensive restoration work on the Catholicon were carried out under Abbot Gregory Photeinos. The dome of the church was rebuilt in 1900 and in the 1960s, the mosaics were restored.


The monastery consists of the main church, the Catholicon with esonarthex and Exonarthex, two smaller churches, a refectory ( Trapeza ), the monastery cells ( kelia ) and a half underground cistern. There is a bastion, which forms a part of the protective wall surrounding the entire complex on the north western side of the monastery.

The Achtstützenbau the main church of the monastery of Nea Moni is a variation of the resultant in the 10th century Middle and Late Byzantine type of cross-domed church.

The monastery contains some of the most important mosaics of the Middle Byzantine mosaics Epoche.Themen include representations of the Pantocrator in the dome, scenes from the life of Christ and the archangels Michael and Gabriel.

Art historians describe their meaning as follows:

The monastery is currently inhabited by nuns, in a two-storey building cells northwest of the katholikon the small museum of the monastery is located.