The Saint Dimitrios monastery in Karakala


At a distance of 6 km. west of Saint Dimitrios and 12 km. from Nafplio, the road leads through adjacent hills to the nunnery of St. Demetrios Karakala. The exact date of the construction of the monastery is not certain, it is speculated that it is in the 11th century. From the state registries, it seems that the monastery was a kind of fortress in the years of the Greek revolution and served as an arsenal of fighters.

The monastery consists of five churches: St. Paraskevi, St. Irini Chrysovalantou, Panagia Portaitisas, St. Nektarios and Osios Ephraim of Syros.

The architecture of the monastery was lost in the 1800s when it was destroyed by fire and the stones of the Byzantine Temple were used by the Turks for the reconstruction of the Vouleftiko building in Nafplio, former Teke. The nave was rebuilt in 1871 and was used for the repair of other parts of the current monastery complex, around and on top of what was left from the older.


Formerly, the monastery of Karakala was called monastery of Xerokasteli. Kasteli is a Frankish word for Castle-fortress. Indeed there was a Frankish Tower nearby, a remnant of an old Castle. This tower and the entire surrounding area were called Xerokasteli and so was the monastery of St. Dimitrios built next to it. When the Turks invaded Greece they kept the same name, Xerokasteli, “Karakoule” in their language, which actually prevailed with a slight alteration to be called the monastery of Karakala. A second version, which has no historical grounds, connects the name of the monastery with the famous and historic monastery Karakalou of Mount Athos.

The monastery contributed significantly to the revolution of 1821, where the Abbot Dionysius Sourilas revolutionized Heli and Kofini and participated himself in the siege of Nafplio. Later, those who escaped from the battle of Peta came to the monastery of Karakala to form the core of the regular army, while in 1943 the Germans blew up its few cells.

Today, the monastery is a nunnery well-known for the wonderful handicrafts and embroideries made by the nuns.