The Holy Convent of Our Lady Perivleptou is administered by the Diocese of Halkida, Evvoia and is situated in a pine forest of stunning beauty about 500 m from the village of Politika. The Catholicon is consecrated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, while within its cloisters there are chapels dedicated to the Holy Trinity, Saint Nektarios and Saint Ann.

At present there are three nuns cloistered in the Holy Convent: The Abbess Christonymphi, and Sisters Magdalene and Christonymphi.

The history of the Holy Convent begins in the 8th century A.D., while evidence uncovered during the restoration of the Catholicon points to a reconstruction having taken place around the 11th or 12th century, with another structural intervention appearing to have been made towards the end of the 17th century. The Catholicon is built according to the Byzantine prototype, inasmuch as it is a typical example of early Christian architecture; it is built on a Greek cross (a cross with arms of equal length) within a square, flanked by a narthex on the west and an apse on the east. The central feature of the Catholicon is the dome on a square base, resting on four columns each one of which is created from a singular block of marble.

The Catholicon is in all ways and views truly a Byzantine jewel. Many references have been made to the area being characterized as the Mystras of Evvoia and this description isn’t far from the truth. Even the Holy Convent’s geographical location within a pine forest in a crevasse, contributes to this view. There are various interesting sculptures decorating the Holy Convent but most importantly, an impressive circular marble floor of pentaomfalon design can be found within the Catholicon’s nave.  Moreover, in recent years in an area perimetric to the Catholicon on the site of the original 8th century AD foundations, archaeologists have unearthed human remains some of which belonging to children, alluding perhaps to a site of torment and martyrdom.

The scars of time and the imprint of various destructions are indelibly etched on the Catholicon. The present day structure is the product of the reconstruction which took place in the 11th or 12th century AD; in the late 17th century a further refurbishment was undertaken and around this time the interior frescoes were partially damaged by fire.During Greece’s civil war (1944 – 1949) the Catholicon endured further damage. The great earthquake of June 18th 2003 was the final blow. The Catholicon was so badly damaged that the relevant authorities decreed it was unsafe to celebrate Holy Liturgy. Since then and under strict supervision of the archaeological authority, refurbishment and reconstruction works have been undertaken aiming at conserving this Byzantine monument.

Bearing in mind that the Holy Convent is an integral part of our cultural and religious heritage which must be preserved and safeguarded at all costs for future generations, a group of ordinary, everyday people aspired to this difficult task. A Holy Convent, in existence today by the Grace of Our Lady and the daily toils of the nearly bed-ridden Abbess and the two cloistered Sisters who, with almost no funding, persevere in maintaining the Convent and the Catholicon while providing assistance and sanctuary to those in need.

The photographs of the architraves and parapets are from the book “Medieval Monuments of Evvoia – Holy Convent of Perivleptou” by Dean Hieronymus Liapis (presently the Very Reverend Archbishop of Athens and all Greece).