The 15th of August is one of Greece's most significant religious celebrations after Easter and Christmas. Here in Messinia, the main focus of those celebrations includes the Holy Monastery of Voulkano.
In the old monastery, on the celebration of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, the icon of the Virgin of Voulkano (Voulkaniotissa) is transferred from the new monastery (located at a lower altitude), which bears the inscription "The Hodegetria (the one who guides), the one who belongs to Voulcano" and is attributed to Evangelist Lukas.
The monastery of Voulkanos or Vourkanos is located at the top of Mount Ithomis at the point where, in antiquity, the citadel of ancient Messina with the sanctuary of Ithomatos Zeus was located. The inhabitants of Messina took refuge there when the Goths destroyed their city in 395 BC.
This place has also been considered sacred since ancient times, and for this reason, it was chosen as the site of the monastery at the beginning of the 8th century during the iconoclasm. The monastery was dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and is now the "katholikon" of the new monastery located lower.
From the archaeological site of Ithomi, the ascent is a bit difficult, but the view to the ancient Messina and the Messinian gulf will compensate you.