spetses

monastery


Monasteries

The Christian Orthodox Church is deeply ingained in Greek society. As well as the 50 odd churches on the tiny island of Spetses, there are also two working monasteries (not counting the former monastery of St Nicholas that is now the island cathedral).

This is the 'top' monastery, that is the one at the top of the hill. Curiously it doesn't figure in the list of 20 or more monasteries in our local diocese. I'm told that this is down to religious politics (please correct me if I'm wrong here). The nuns up there follow the Old Calendar, while the nuns in the lower monastery of All Saints follow the the New Calendar.

Let's not get into the politics of the church here, but basically, the 'Old Calendar' is the slightly inaccurate 'Julian Calendar' that the Western world ran on until the 16th and 17th centuries. Nowaday it is only used by some parts of the Orthodox church and a few Berber tribes in the North Africa. The rest of us use the 'New' Gregorian Calendar that was first introduced in 1583 in Rome. The Old Calendar is now 13 days out of alignment with the sun.