The Monastery of Zoodochos Pigi in Andros is the largest monastery on the island and is located between Gavrio and Batsi. The year of its foundation is a mystery, but it is believed that it started as a school in the Byzantine era and in 842 AD it was established as a Christian monastery. However, a date written on the back of a unique silver icon attests that the Monastery of Zoodochos Pigi in Andros was operating in the 14th century.
The fall of the Monastery of Zoodochos Pigi in Andros began when the Franks left the beautiful island. However, in 1578 it was restored by monks and “lived” years of prosperity and glory. The monk Ioannikos, a member of the friendly society, continued the work of his predecessors and built new cells, spending his property and that of the monastery. By the end of the 17th century, the monastery had 100 monks and in the following years, the population was divided.
Zoodochos Pigi Monastery in Andros – The myth
The myth behind the foundation of the Monastery of Zoodochos Pigi is a true miracle. As the story goes, further north from the site of the monastery, workers were building another monastery. Every night, when they stopped their work, all their tools were disappearing, without anyone knowing who took them. As the days went by, quite close to where the monastery was being built, a thirsty, visually impaired old man was looking for water. Suddenly he saw a goat in front of him with a wet beard and knew that there must be a spring nearby. The old man then followed the goat’s footprints and located the spring.
Out of nowhere, a woman appeared in front of him and he told her that he could not see her clearly because of his vision problem. Then, the woman urged him to wash his eyes with the water from the spring. Miraculously, his sight returned and the woman revealed to him that she was the Virgin Mary. She asked him to go to the workers who were building the monastery and tell them to build it to the location of the spring.
In 1928 the monastery was converted into a women’s monastery and remains so to this day.