Patron saint of the island, the Monastery of Panagia Faneromeni is located on a hill above the town, within a 3 km distance from it. Its story takes us back to 63 AD when Apostle Paul sent his three assistants (Aquila, Sosiona and Herodio) to Lefkada to preach the teachings of Jesus. Later, the church of Panagia was built –at the site of an ancient temple dedicated to Artemis- the first one created on the island, with Sosiona being ordained by Apostle Paul as the first bishop of Lefkada.
After the First Ecumenical Council (325 AD), Agatharchos, the bishop of Lefkada at that time, and two other fathers settled in the monastery and built the first cells, setting thus the basis for monastic life on the island. According to legend, the monastery was named after the revelation of the icon of Virgin Mary designed on wood to the monk and hagiographer Kallistos, who had been assigned while in Istanbul to create the image of Virgin Mary. "Faneromeni", then, took its name from the Greek verb "fanerono" which means "to reveal".
Over the years it suffered several disasters, and owes its present form to the Venetian era. During the 18th century, it served as a dedicatory monastery, in 1754 it was introduced to the communal system, while in 1887 after a fire, the church was rebuilt with the new icon of Virgin Mary, a replica of the old one, which was painted by the monk Benjamin Kontrakis in Agio Oros.
Since 2006, it operates as an Ecclesiastical Museum which exhibits relics of the monastery as well as other objects from the monasteries of the island which have been destroyed. Hosted on two floors, the collection presents to its visitors the evolution of Christian life and culture in Lefkada. Religious manuscripts, rare editions of Greek and foreign printers from the Turkish occupation, works by Ionian and Lefkadite hagiographers, iconostasis items, silverware, such as sanctification crosses, chalices, trays, vestments, etc. are included in the exhibits of the museum.