Monastery of the Taxiarches at Mantamados Lesvos, Northeastern Aegean Island, Greece ©Roberto Meazza/IML Image Group RM
Roberto Meazza /IML Image Group
Set in a scenic olive grove and surrounded by pine forest, the Taxiarhis Monastery has been around since 1700. Taxiarhis, the patron saint of Lesbos, is highly respected by the locals, even non-Christians. Pilgrims come to pray and leave offerings, including swords and shoes. The ceremonial robes of Ecumenical Patriarch Gregory V are also found here, as well as Metropolitan Porfyrios’s tomb. The Taxiarhis celebration, which takes place 15 days after Easter, is one of the largest religious events in Greece.