Cultural Corridors of South East Europe

Heritage by Type / Christian religious centre

The Monastery of Panagia Kosmosotira

Info Sections
The Monastery of Panagia Kosmosotira

About the site


Corridor: Via Egnatia
Country: Greece, Evros
Type: Christian religious centre
Epoch: Middle Ages
Theme: Christian Monasteries
World Heritage:
Middle AgesChristian MonasteriesChristian religious centre

The Church of the Virgin Kosmosotira lies at the centre of the town of Ferres. Around it, ruins of the monastery with the same name have also survived. The Monastery of the Virgin Kosmosotira was established in 1151-52 by the Sebastocrator Isaac Komnenos, third son of Alexios I Komnenos. The founder wrote the Typikon of the monastery, describing everyday life and the duties of the monks, the preliminary buildings of the monastery and the architecture of the Catholicon (the main church), in which he was buried, as he wished. Part of the tomb inscription is kept in the Ecclesiastic Museum of Alexandroupolis.
Parts of the precinct and the Catholicon, which reflects the 12th century art and education of Constantinople, survive from the monastic complex. On the inside of the church, the large dome with the windows, surrounded by four smaller ones, dominates the Catholicon. The central dome is supported by four arches and four pendentives on the external walls with windows, but mainly by four points inside the church, which are not visible, resulting in the “inexplicable” suspension of the vaulting. The two eastern parts are hidden in the walls, which separate the sanctuary from the Prothesis and the Diakonikon, whereas the western ones are two fine pairs of white columns.
The walls are covered with murals, some of which are thought to be portraits of the founder and the members of his family.

Hellenic ministry of culture