The Monastery of Filerimos
You’ll find Filerimos Monastery on the west coast of the island, just eight miles from Rhodes Town. The monastery is nestled on a hill overlooking the Acropolis of Ancient Ialyssos, which means you’ve got a lot of historic architectural wonders to explore on your visit. If you’re familiar with Greek architecture, you’ll notice that the monastery has a very unique style and isn’t like anything else in the country. This is because it imitates a more Gothic style, which somehow gives it even more charm and mystery. If you happen to be in Rhodes anytime soon, we highly suggest visiting the Monastery of Filerimos!
The History of Filerimos
Built in the 15th century, the monastery was erected by the famous Knights of Saint John. The knights had successfully conquered the island and didn’t want to wait long before making their mark. They decided to dedicate the monastery to the Virgin Mary, which was appropriate since the monastery was home to the miracle-working icon of the Virgin of Filerimos. As you can expect, this was a treasured icon that attracted visitors from far and wide. Sadly, you won’t find it inside the monastery’s walls today as it was moved to the National Museum of Montenegro.
The monastery faced turmoil and was destroyed in the chaos of the Turkish occupation. However, the Italians restored it in the 1920s and it has since become one of the most visited archaeological sites in Rhodes.
Exploring the monastery
There’s plenty to see and explore both inside and outside Filerimos, Rhodes. With panoramic views of the Aegean Sea, you can’t help but stop for a moment and appreciate the natural beauty of your surroundings. Take a stroll around the monastery grounds and you’ll come across a lot of ancient cypress trees and lush foliage. Inside, you can light a candle and explore its mosaic decorations, cells, and the small chapel.
To reach the chapel, you’ll need to take a long staircase that’ll bring you through an avenue surrounded by cypress trees. The Byzantine church is often the chosen spot for wedding ceremonies. With its beautiful architecture and enchanting surroundings, it’s easy to see why couples flock to this spot to celebrate their special day. The area is the perfect location for a long walk or stroll through the countryside.
If you’re outside, keep an eye out for a short trail that’s easy to miss if you don’t know it’s there. If you follow the path, you’ll eventually reach the Golgothas, which is the highest point of the hill. Along the way, you’ll spot stone relief altars depicting the story of the Passion of Christ. Many pilgrims will stop and say a short prayer at each one as they walk the trail. When you reach the top of the hill, you’ll discover a huge concrete cross that faces the sea. It stands at 48 feet high and if you go inside, you can take the spiral staircase to the top for exceptional views.
Since The Monastery of Filerimos, Rhodes, is located near Ancient Ialyssos, you may as well make it a day trip so you can see more of the area. Ancient Ialyssos is on Filerimos Hill and dates back to 480 BC. The remains of the temple of Athena Polias can be seen here and the underground church of Saint George. This church was built in the 14th century AD and is worth exploring as part of the overall experience.
Getting to the Filerimos Monastery
You’ll find the Monastery of Filerimos around 10 km from Rhodes Town. The fastest way to travel from Rhodes Town to Filerimos is by taxi. It’s slightly more expensive than taking the bus, but worth it if you don’t want to wait around for a lift. The average cost for a taxi to the monastery is around £12 and the journey takes 15 minutes.
If you prefer to take the bus, head to Rhodes Station and check the schedule for routes going from Rhodes to Filerimos. It’s also worth checking the return journey times too so you know how long you’ve got to spend exploring the monastery and its grounds before the last bus. You could also walk to the monastery from Rhodes Town if you’ve got the energy for it. The walk is around 6.6 miles in distance and will probably take you a little over two hours each way. If it’s a hot day, we suggest getting the bus or taking a taxi rather than walking as you’ll probably do even more walking when you arrive.