The mountain which in antiquity was called Istoni, owes its current name to the homonymous 14th Century Pantokrator Monastery that was first built on top of the mountain in 1347, with the consent of 23 villages of Mount Pantokrator. It was destroyed in 1537. The current building dates to the late 17th century, so it has a more modern layout.
The monastery complex consists of the church of the Almighty Savior Christ, porticoes, inner courtyards and various ground floor buildings with arches, cells and hostels. It is a one room and vaulted monastery, with tangent monk’s cells. The stone-built, renovated church is a triple basilica with a sloping roof, arched windows and a spacious narthex.
Inside there are wooden gilded iconostasis built in 1711, the floor, mosaic with rhombic decoration and fragments of frescoes of the 14th and 17th century. There are also icons of the Ionian school as well as interesting silver church utensils. The iconostasis was built in 1711, and visitors to the temple can see a number of paintings and silver garments. Its facade dates back to the 19th century. In the Monastery that once had life, today no monk lives permanently.
The route to Pantokrator Monastery from the city of Corfu is difficult due to the many winding turns up the mountain, but at the same time it is magnificent as it offers exceptional views.
Starting from the area of Strinylas one can physically climb to the summit of the mountain. There is a dramatic change of landscape in which wildlife emerges, a rural area with yards and vegetables, in stark contrast to the cosmopolitan character of Corfu.
In the past, the longest route had to be taken on foot on an impassable dirt road. This did not however deter the Corfiots or other believers from making the arduous climb to the apex of Pantocrator to worship the miraculous image of the Savior Pantokrator.
Gold and silver vows hang on the miraculous image, a reminder of the miracles that have occurred for believers from time to time.
Tourists and pilgrims visit throughout the year, but on the 6th of August, on the occasion of the Celebration of the Pantokrator Monastery, crowds flock day and night and ascend the mountain in a pilgrimage with lighted candles, something that is visible from afar.
COOK, Adelia (2019). “Monasteries of Corfu“, www.mykerkyra.com
Archaiologia.gr (2015). “Χιλιάδες προσκυνητές στην Ιερά Μονή Υψηλού Παντοκράτορα: πόλος έλξης η θαυματουργή εικόνα του Σωτήρος”, https://www.archaiologia.gr/blog/2015/08/07/%CE%BA%CE%AD%CF%81%CE%BA%CF%85%CF%81%CE%B1-%CF%87%CE%B9%CE%BB%CE%B9%CE%AC%CE%B4%CE%B5%CF%82-%CF%80%CF%81%CE%BF%CF%83%CE%BA%CF%85%CE%BD%CE%B7%CF%84%CE%AD%CF%82-%CF%83%CF%84%CE%B7%CE%BD-%CE%B9%CE%B5/