Yperagia Theotokos (Holy Virgin) Magoulades
The Monastery of Yperagia Theotokos Ypsili is located near Magoulades village in the Northwest side of Corfu. It is one of the oldest and biggest monasteries of Corfu. Its beginning dates back to the first quarter of the 10th century.
We don’t know many things for its history. A wall painting of the Holy Virgin indicates the beginning of the history. During the 16th century, the monastery was in a difficult situation and it was almost ruined.
In 1700, a monk who then became abbot of the monastery, named Chrisanthos Kontalipos, decided to renovate it. After the miraculous intervention of Virgin Mary and a lot of difficulties, he succeded in finishing it. The family of Stavros Metallinos from Korakiana helped him a lot.
Many smaller monasteries and metochia (dependencies) were created around the area because of its spiritual progress. Some of them are: a)monasteries of Yperagia Theotokos Chamili and Saint Paraskevi b) Metochia (dependencies) Saint Stefanos, Saint Nikolaos, Saint Onoufrios. The ones of Saint Stefanos, Saint Nikolaos and Saint Onoufrios belong to the Monastery.
During the first half of the 20th century, at the abbotship of the monk Symeon- Spyridon Krokidis, the monastery’s situation was worsened.
The once big property of the church, the library, the holy vessels, the metochia (dependencies) and the Temples provide an image of its spiritual and social offer. It has been characterised as a Monument because of its importance as far as its architecture is concerned.
The wood-carved iconostasio in the Temple is full of golden leaves,made by local artists and it is a typical example of the Ionian art style. The sacred images of Holy Virgin are made by Dimitrios Foskalis (1711). There are also other icons made by Georgios Chrisoloras who created Jesus on the Cross. The Twelve Great Feasts, the painting on the ceiling (urania) and two more great images for the Holy Virgin are made by Spyridon Sperantzas (mid 18th century). All the aforementioned artists brought the Western art style to Corfu.
In 1800 the monastery was transformed into camp army by the russian military. Also, the admiral Theodore Osakov (1743-1817) who played an important role in the history of Corfu and Greece in general, stayed there. He was the one who helped Corfu gaining its independence from the French and he established the Ionian State (1800-1807). His relationship with the monastery and the monks was quintessential and this is proved by the fact that there is a wall painting with his face in a big cistern and the biggest part of West wing of the monastery was built by him. There are also small relics of the following Saints: Nikolaos, Paraskevi, John the Holy Glorious Prophet, Baptist and Forerunner, Jason and Sosipatros, John the Eleimon (the one who gives mercy), Georgios, Dimitrios,Arsenios from Kappadochia, Varvara, Elefhterios, Kiriaki, Nikitas, Mercourios, Charalambos, Nikolaos Planas, Loukas from Krimaia. Another invaluable object is also the Gospel from the end of 10th century.
The Monastery celebrates on the 15th of August the Dormition of
our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos and Ever Virgin Mary and the Bright Friday the feast of the Holy Virgin the Zoodochos Pege (the Spring of Life).