Holy Monastery of Velanidia

With its name inspired by the perennial oak tree in its yard, the Holy Monastery of Velanidia –dedicated to Zoodochos Pigi– is located 6 km north of Kalamata. Built at an altitude of 400 meters, it was founded in 1679 (according to the date on the lintel) and played a significant role during the Greek Revolution acting as a hideout and base for many fighters in the area.

Great fighters such as Kolokotronis, Papaflessas and Nikitaras used the monastery as a place to meet and discuss issues concerning the Battle. It should be noted that a large number of chieftains and revolutionaries departed from the Monastery on March 23, 1821, in order to liberate Kalamata, which they did without much blood loss. This monastery also played an active role during German occupation, given that it was a refuge for the Greek People's Liberation Army (ELAS) and the rebel groups of Mt. Taygetos.

The monastery incurred severe damages both during Turkish occupation and rule by Ibrahim (1825) when it was destroyed and during the catastrophic earthquake in 1986. Built from scratch, it is now a women's monastery, which can be accessed via the old Kalamata-Alagonia road.