MONASTERY OF ST. EPHRAIM - KIFISSIA... THE BEVERLY HILLS OF ATTICA



Monastery of St. Ephraim - Kifissia... the Beverly Hills of Attica

- Scenic drive through the mountains towards Nea Makri with Ancient Greece Tours
- Monastery of St. Ephraim
- Kiffisia… the “Beverly Hills” of Attica, Athens
- Boutique shopping with famous brand names
- Restaurants



The monastery of St. Ephraim

The monastery of St.Ephraim in Nea Makri is a place of pilgrimage of a Saint who was known for his miracles and nowadays attracts thousands of believers every year,especially people looking to cure diseases.
The Holy New Martyr and wonderworker Ephraim was born in Greece on September 14 1384.His father died when the Saint was young and his pious mother was left to care for seven children by herself. When Ephraim reached the age of fourteen,the all-good God directed his steps to a monastery on the mountain of Amoman near Nea Makri in Attica.The monastery was dedicated to the Annunciation and also to St.Paraskeva.Here he took on his shoulders the Cross of Christ,which all his followers must bear (Matt.16:24).Being inflamed with love for God,St.Ephraim eagerly placed himself under the monastic discipline.For nearly twenty-seven years he imitated divine zeal,he followed Christ and turned away from the attractions of this world.By the grace of God,he purified himself from soul-destroying passions and became an abode of the All-Holy Spirit.He was also found worthy to receive the grace of the priesthood and served at the altar with great reverence and compunction.
On September 14,1425,the barbarous Turks launched an invasion by sea destroying the monastery and looting the surrounding area.St.Ephraim was one of the victims of their frenzied hatred.Many of the monks had been tortured and beheaded but St.Ephraim remained calm.This infuriated the Turks,so they imprisoned him in order to torture him and force him to deny Christ.
They locked him in a small cell without food or water,they beat him every day,hoping to convince him to become a Muslim.For several months,he endured horrible torments.When the Turks realized that the Saint remained faithful to Christ,they decided to put him to death.On Tuesday May 5,1426,they led him from his cell.They turned him upside down and tied him to a mulbery tree,then they beat him and mocked him."Where is your God" they asked,"and why doesn't he help you?"The Saint did not lose courage but prayed."Oh God,do not listen to the words of these men,but may Thy will be done as Thou hast ordained". The barbarians pulled the Saint's beard and tortured him until his strength ebbed.His blood flowed,and his clothes were in tatters.His body was almost naked and covered with many wounds.Still the Hagarenes were not satisfied,but wished to torture him even more.One of them took a flaming stick and plunged it violently into the Saint's navel.
His screams were heart-breaking,so great was his pain.The blood flowed from his stomach,but the Turks did not stop.They repeated the same painful torments many times.His body writhed,and all his limbs were convulsed.Soon,the Saint grew too weak to speak,so he prayed silently asking God to forgive his sins.Blood and saliva ran from his mouth,and the ground was soaked with his blood.Then he lapsed into unconsciousness.
Thinking that he had died,the Turks cut the ropes which bound him to the tree,and the saint's body fell to the ground.Their rage was still not diminished,so they continued to kick and beat him.After a while,the Saint opened his eyes and prayed."Lord,i give up my spirit to Thee"!About nine o'clock in the morning,the martyr's soul was seperated from his body.These things remained forgotten for nearly 500 years,hidden in the depths of silence and oblivion until January 3,1950.
St.Ephraim's name and biography,complete with exact dates and details,is said to have been revealed to a hermit nun,Makaria Desipri in a series of divinely inspired dreams in 1950.Following these dreams,a body believed to be that of the Saint was found in the ground near the nun's hermitage,on the site of an abandoned medieval monastery on the slopes of Mount Amomon,near the town of Nea Makri,in Attica,Greece.
The Saint,whose body was kept as a holy relic,quickly became the object of popular veneration,as he came to be known as a worker of miraculous healings.On the site of his supposed life and martyrdom,a Monastery of the Annunciation of Our Lady (Iera Moni Evaggelismou of Theotokou) was later erected.In 1998,St.Ephraim was officially declared a Saint by the Synod of the Orthodox Church in Greece.
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Kifissia... the Beverly Hills of Attica

This prestigious district near the terminus of the metro line has always been one of the city's most important commercial districts.Located 15 km north-east of Athens,this suburb was established in the late 19th century as a countryside resort for the Athenian upper class or ultra rich families and major Greek political families. Since then it has become the preferred residential area of entrepreneurs,artists and statesmen.With a number of open green spaces and recreational sites like Kefalari and the Alsos Green,Kifissia offers a uniquely relaxing ambience.
At the Kifissia shopping centre,visitors will find the most famous brand names in clothing,shoes,cosmetics and accessories,as well as a wide array of luxury hotels,cafes,gastronomy and some terrific old taverns.Consider combining a leisurely stroll with some designer shopping and a bit of fine dining.
Kifissia is actually a beautiful place and street by street much nicer than downtown Athens!Besides the main square there is also Kefalari Square each of which is like a smaller version of the National Gardens,with ponds and palmtrees and interesting plants and flowers.
The area is on the slopes of Mount Pendelis and has a milder climate than Athens which is why the rich Greeks have historically had their summer houses here and many live there year round.There are hundreds of shops,cafes and restaurants among the shaded streets and several nice hotels.There are lots of places for young people to hang out,bars and video game rooms,a Cinemax Theatre,a bowling center,an actual mall and as many upscale shops as you will find in Kolonaki,with horse and carriages to take you around if you get tired of walking.
You can entertain yourself just by wondering around and looking at the historic villas and hotels and their beautiful gardens.In April/May The Kifissia Flower Show presents dozens of different species of flowers,from Greece and abroad,in Kifissia Park.The park holds other events from rock concerts to book fairs and other events particularly in the warm months.Drive over the mountain and you are on some of the best beaches in Attika,notably Schinias.
Kifissia has a long history.It was a retreat of philosophers during the reign of the Roman emperor Hadrian,when the wealthy Herodes Atticus built the villa Kifissia.During the Ottoman period half the inhabitants of the town were Muslim and half were Christian.There was a mosque and many small churches,some of which survive today. During the Second World War both the Germans and the British had their headquarters there,though not at the same time.During the Cold War when the USA had a strong military presence in Greece,this is the area where many of them lived.The American Club (which was Nazi headquarters during WW2) had a Stars and Stripes Bookstore,a liquor store,a real American bar,a restaurant that served American food,a gambling room with one-armed-bandits,a large swimming pool,a youth center and a movie theatre called JUSMAG Theatre where you could see the latest films from the USA.
Not to be missed!
Leisurely tours with a personal touch!
Live your myth in Greece with Ancient Greece Tours!
Activity level: Moderate
Duration: Full day
Type: Religious, Sightseeing, Walking, Shopping, Full Day

All Monasteries are open from sunrise to sunset.

Kifissia Shopping hours:

Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 9:00am to 9:00pm
Monday, Wednesday, Saturday: 9:00am to 2:30pm Sundays: Shops closed
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    Wifi Services
Admission to archeological sites
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