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The Daphni Monastery after the Revolution

After the Revolution the monastery was completely deserted. Last abbot was Agathaggelos (about 1815-1840), who resided in Athens. In 1838-1839 a Bavarian road guarison was stationed in Daphni. The French historian
Jean Alexandre visited a deserted place in 1840. So did the famous Danish writer, Hans Christian Andersen
(1805-1875) in 1841, accompanied by Ludwig Ross and Philippos Ioannou. Monk cells had become stables. The catholicon preserved some of its grandeur but also traces of the Ottoman disrespect. Thirteen years later, during the Anglo-French occupation of Piraeus, a French battalion stationed in the monastery and conducted archaeological excavations in the area.
After the French, a small group of nuns came to the monastery. At the same time, Daphni became a popular excursion destination for Athenians and featured in Emmanuel Roidis’ Papissa (Female Pope) Ioanna (1866), one of the most debated books of modern Greek literature. The church was devoted to the Dormition of the Virgin and celebrated on the 23rd of August with a large feast. In 1883-1885 the monastery became a psychiatry.
The wretchedness of the monastery reached its zenith when it was used as an animal pen in 1887. The general clamour combined with earthquake damages in 1886, 1889 and 1894 prompted the government to the rescue and restoration of Daphni. Works continue until today.


Drawing depicting a restored view of the south side of the Daphni catholicon by Benouville (1877).

After the Revolution the monastery was completely deserted. Last abbot was Agathaggelos (about 1815-1840), who resided in Athens. In 1838-1839 a Bavarian road guarison was stationed in Daphni. The French historian
Jean Alexandre visited a deserted place in 1840. So did the famous Danish writer, Hans Christian Andersen
(1805-1875) in 1841, accompanied by Ludwig Ross and Philippos Ioannou. Monk cells had become stables. The catholicon preserved some of its grandeur but also traces of the Ottoman disrespect. Thirteen years later, during the Anglo-French occupation of Piraeus, a French battalion stationed in the monastery and conducted archaeological excavations in the area.
After the French, a small group of nuns came to the monastery. At the same time, Daphni became a popular excursion destination for Athenians and featured in Emmanuel Roidis’ Papissa (Female Pope) Ioanna (1866), one of the most debated books of modern Greek literature. The church was devoted to the Dormition of the Virgin and celebrated on the 23rd of August with a large feast. In 1883-1885 the monastery became a psychiatry.
The wretchedness of the monastery reached its zenith when it was used as an animal pen in 1887. The general clamour combined with earthquake damages in 1886, 1889 and 1894 prompted the government to the rescue and restoration of Daphni. Works continue until today.


Drawing depicting a restored view of the south side of the Daphni catholicon by Benouville (1877).