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AEGEAN ISLANDS
The goddess of fertility on Rhodes is called Panagia Tsambika (Virgin Mary Tsambika). Childless women walk barefoot up to her monastery, which is located high atop a hill visible from the main road (1.6 km beyond Kolymbia), and pray to the Virgin Mary to make them worthy of having a child.
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The monastery of Kalopetra

At the highest point of the trail in the Valley of the Butterflies the monastery of Kalopetra is located. It was built in 1782 by the ruler (Prince) of Moldavia, Alexander Ypsilantis, who was exiled to Rhodes along with his two sons, Dimitrios and Constantine. The legend has it that they came up against rough seas on their journey and nearly drowned. So, Ypsilantis made a vow to the Virgin Mary that if they survived, he would build a monastery dedicated to her. At that moment, through the darkness, they saw a light. They followed it and came out safe to the beach Chorafes tou Tholou (the present day’s Theologos). The next day, Ypsilantis went to the mountain where he had seen the light and found an icon of the Virgin Mary. He built the monastery in that exact location. The only part of the monastery of Ypsilantis that survives is the iconostasis.     
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Kimisi tis Theotokou (Assumption of the Virgin Mary) in Asklipieio

A church built in 1060 over the ruins of an older temple. In the churchyard there is the village’s old olive-oil press, including all its equipment, and the “kella” (cellar), the storage room where the oil was kept. These two buildings are typical examples of the local architecture and serve as a folklore and ecclesiastical museum respectively.  
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Monastery of Panagia Skiadeni (Virgin Mary the “Shade casting”)

It is 5 km away from Messanagros. The hill is called Skiadi (“skiadi” = shady place). The monastery was founded around 1200, but the buildings that exist today date back to the 18th century, except for the chapel in the churchyard, which dates back to 1640. On the walls of the monastery of Panagia Skiadeni ancient marbles are embedded. Archaeologists believe that they come from a temple of Artemis, which pre-existed in that location. During the Lent period, the icon of Panagia Skiadeni is paraded in a procession that goes through all the villages of Rhodes. On 8th September there is a great feast in the monastery, where, besides the Rhodians, many people from Chalki also come flocking.  
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Tharri monastery in Laerma

According to tradition, a sick princess from Morocco had a vision of the Archangel Michael in her sleep and he told her “tharrei” (have courage!).  She became well and built the monastery, in which monks still live today. Its temple is known for the 13th-century religious paintings (in the Holy Sanctuary and on the dome) and for the ornate wooden carved iconostasis from 1756. In the Tharri monastery you can find a shop, where the monks sell bottled wine and ouzo they produce themselves.   
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Artamitis Monastery

Halfway between Agios Isidoros and Embonas there is the Artamitis monastery that was founded in the 9th-10th century and destroyed by the Turks. Near the monastery was found an inscription, which indicates that during the ancient times there was a temple of Artemis in the exact same place. This is probably where the name of the monastery comes from.  
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