Last Sunday, during one of our Winter Sunday Walks, we visited Kaki Melissa – a small and little known monastery. It is located close to the main road from Livadi to Chora but of course, it is better to go there on foot along one of the many old footpaths leading to it – see ‘Kythira on foot’ route 27 or 28.
The well maintained monastery is first mentioned in notary papers, dating from 1772. Originally nuns used to live there. As well as the Holy Virgin Mary Church there are some monastery cells. The court yard is beautifully paved with cobblestones.
Many Kythirians attend its yearly festival which is on February 2nd, Candlemas. It is the day, 40 days after Christmas, that Mary, in the temple of Jerusalem, presented Jesus Christ to God.
Kaki Melissa is Greek for Evil Bee… According to oral tradition, pirates tried to attack the monastery. However, a big swarm of bees attacked the pirates, forcing them to leave the island and the monastery was saved…