Ypsilos Pantokratoras (High Almighty)
In the highest part of Corfu, at altitude of 917 metres is the holy Monastery of Ypsilos Panttokrator (High Almighty). The mountain was named Istoni and nowadays has taken the name Pantokrator because of the monastery.
It was established in the first half of the 14th century as written in a parchment of 1347. In that paper it is mentioned that the villagers of the neighboring areas helped to build the church. They worked really hard and made the monastery unique. This paper is signed by a monk named Anthimos and he was most probably the first abbot of the Monastery.
The second mention concerning the monastery was in a notarial act of Great Protopappas of 1689. According to that act the monastery was built by a villager named Sellaris. He built it in a place where he discovered stone slab that had the image of the Metamorphosis of Christ.
The Monastery was collegial and each time the brothers were responsible for the maintenance of the Church and the buildings around it. Moreover, ten villagers helped to build the church and this is proved by the ten archs in the north side of the building. These archs are used nowadays when the Monastery is celebrating from the 1st till the 6th of August.
Until 1953, the monastery was under the Venetian regime and then it was given to the Holy Metropolis of Corfu and Paxoi. Nowadays, Archimandrite father Efthimios Douis is spiritually responsible for the monastery and one monk lives there.
The Monastery is devoted to His High Almighty and for seven centuries and so on it is a place of askesis, praying, calmness and self knowledge.
The monastery has a lot of folklore and customary elements in its construction and its unique architecture makes it an important monument and part of the ecclesiastical and cultural history and heritage of Corfu. The most important part is its Temple which was most probably built in the beginning of the 14th century.
The iconostasion (temple) was built in 1771 and its sacred icons are silver lined. The faldstcol is made out of marble and because of its size is truly impressive. The sacred icon of Pantokrator is a wall painting and is also very impressive. There is a smaller faldstcol which has the sacred icon of Prophet Elias.
The Temple of this monastery is one of the few in such a good condition. Its wall paintings date back to the 14th century.
They are divided into three categories. The first one is concecrated to Christ and to Virgin Mary, while the second and the third one have saints. There is also the sacred icon of Holy Virgin of Vlacherna.
The visitor can see many liturgical items made out of silver in Corfiot workshops and other treasures, dedicated to Holy Virgin.
The building complex is completed with the Bell Tower. There are also other smaller buildings.
The cells are connected with the Temple in two levels. In the north side of the complex there are the ten archs as it is mentioned above.
Moreover, in the indoor part of the area there is the Cable of National Television since 1971.
The monastery is celebrating on the 6th of August the Transfiguration of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
From the first till the 6th of August the monastery is always full of people during the day and the night, as a traditional pilgrimage from all over the island is happening.