The Strofathes monastery-castle rises imposingly on the highest point of the flat islands, with its walls lifting up to 25 meters and dominating the entire deserted landscape.
It was built in 1241 by the first emperor of Nicaea, Theodore Laskaris, dedicated to the ceremony-nameday of Christ the Savior.
It took the form of a castle in order to be able to protect the monks from the raids of the pirates who were sailing across this certain sea area at that time.
The “katholikon” of the monastery (the central temple) was located in its tower, which was an unprecedented fact for an orthodox monastery.
Despite all the raids it suffered, the monastery flourished in the 17th century with a large number of monks and valuable heirlooms.
Opposite the tower and the “katholikon” there is the chapel of Saint Georgios, where, for 100 years, the relic of Saint Dionysios was preserved.
The Strofadia islands are located almost on the seismic arch of the Ionian Sea and during these centuries the monastery managed to stand upright at great cost. It was after the 1886 earthquake that the large water reserves were reduced considerably and the desolation of the monastery gradually began. In 1997, the walls were cracked by a new major earthquake and needed extra support, while in 2018 a major earthquake in the area demolished part of the tower of the monastery where rehabilitation works are now being carried out.