According to a lot of people, it is the oldest Monastery of Greece and one of the most impressive Christian Orthodox pilgrimages. It is 10kms out of the town of Kalavrita. It took its name (Spileo = cave) from the cave where the icon of Virgin Mary was found.
The history of the Monastery
The Monastery of Mega Spileo was built in 362AC by the brother monks Simeon and Theodoros who were from Thessaloniki. Each of them separately saw a vision and they were both ordered to go from Jerusalem to Achaia and find the icon of Virgin Mary that was made of mastic and wax by Lucas the Evangelist. After wandering, the two brothers met a young shepherdess, Efrosini, who led them to the cave where the icon was. With great piety, the two monks took the icon out of the cave and cleaned this sacred place by removing the plants. When they burnt the branches, a dragon jumped violently towards the exit of the cave and it was killed by thunderbolts. In order to keep this miracle alive, a lot of reconstructions have taken place. Also, the dragon’s bones were kept until lately.