the ecclesiastical museum of moni toplou
On show at the museum and in the katholicon are treasures salvaged by monks over the monastery’s long history.
Of particular interest is the monastery’s collection of rare icons, especially Christ Pantocrator (Christ the Almighty), a work attributed to the 15th century icon painter Andreas Ritzos, and works by Ioannis Kornaros.
The museum also has displays of gold-embroidered sacerdotal vestments, intricately carved wooden crosses, three patriarchal documents or sigilla, a small collection of historic mementoes from the struggles in which the monastery took part (1821, 1866, World War II), as well as rare books.
Of particular interest is the collection of Greek folk engravings, which are exhibited below the monastery altar.
Known as paper icons, and including wood and bronze engravings or lithographs, they were printed on hand-powered presses in the large centres of orthodoxy and offered to the faithful as a blessing on their pilgrimage.
Apart from their importance in terms of visual art, these compositions are a valuable source of information on the religious and social history of Greece in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Indicatively, they are the only surviving visual testimony for many monastery complexes destroyed during Ottoman rule.
Toplou Ecclesiastical Museum
Opening Hours: daily 09:00 – 13:00 and 14:00 – 18:00
Admission: 2.5 €