One of a trio of ancient Greek monasteries listed on the UNESCO World Heritage list, Hosios Loukas Monastery is exquisite example of a Byzantine-era monastery, now preserved as a museum. Founded in the early 10th-century by the hermit monk Luke Stiris, whose tomb is still housed on the premises, the complex comprises two beautifully conserved churches located in a suitably dramatic setting on the tree-lined slopes of Mount Helicon.
First up is the Katholikón of Ósios Loukás, the larger of the two churches and renowned for its elaborate 11th-century interiors, a masterpiece of colored marble, vivid frescoes and extraordinary mosaics, including icons by 16th-century painter Michael Damaskinos. The neighboring Chapel of Theotókos is Greece’s only remaining 10th-century church and is most impressive from outside, with its classical Byzantine structure and elaborate brickwork.
The Hosios Loukas Monastery is located close to the town of Distomo, in south-central Greece, and is open daily (except Mondays) from 9am-5pm.