Cultural Corridors of South East Europe

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Nea Moni of Chios, part of the World Heritage site "Monasteries of Daphni, Hossios Luckas and Nea Moni of Chios"

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Nea Moni of Chios, part of the World Heritage site

About the site

Corridor: Western Trans-Balkan Road, Via Anatolia
Country: Greece, Chios
Type: Christian religious centre
Epoch: Middle Ages
Theme: Christian Monasteries
World Heritage: Cultural Heritage
Middle AgesChristian MonasteriesChristian religious centreCultural Heritage

Although geographically distant from each other, these three monasteries (the first is in Attica, near Athens, the second in Phocida near Delphi, and the third on an island in the Aegean Sea, near Asia Minor) belong to the same typological series and share the same aesthetic characteristics. The churches are built on a cross-in-square plan with a large dome supported by squinches defining an octagonal space. In the 11th and 12th centuries they were decorated with superb marble works as well as mosaics on a gold background, all characteristic of the 'second golden age of Byzantine art'.


Nea Moni (New Monastery) is a monument of international significance. The catholicon (main church) is the most important specimen of the insular octagonal domed type of church, and is lavishly decorated with marble revetments and mosaics. The refectory (Trapeza) lies to the SW of the catholicon while the west end of the precinct is occupied by the imposing defence tower. The half-subterranean Cistern, which is preserved intact, dates to the 11th century. The actual cells were constructed later and many of them are almost completely ruined today. The monastery is enclosed by an irregular in plan, stone perimeter wall.
Nea Moni was founded in the middle of the 11th century, with a donation of the emperor Constantine IX Monomachos and his wife, Zoe. For many centuries it was the most important religious centre on Chios but was repeatedly destroyed in the 19th century. It was severely damaged in 1822 and by an earthquake in 1881, which caused the collapse of the dome, the bell tower, the apse of the sanctuary of the catholicon, as well as the destruction of many mosaics. In modern times, many efforts have been made for the restoration of the monument and the preservation of the mosaics in the catholicon.

Expert network

Read more about Nea Moni of Chios, part of the World Heritage site "Monasteries of Daphni, Hossios Luckas and Nea Moni of Chios" at the Unesco World Heritage List.