Approximately in the middle of the route from Leonidio to the village of Kosmas, is the monastery of Elona, dedicated to the Dormition of the Virgin Mary. It is constructed on the steep, reddish rock of Parnon, and is one of the most impressive and magnificent monuments of Arcadia. Its name was related to the tradition that people from Elos in Lakonia sought refuge here, bringing with them the miraculous icon of the Hodegetria, which was considered the work of Luke the Evangelist.
As its first settlers are considered the monks Kallinikos and Dositheos, who were ascetics here in the 15th century. During the Turkish Occupation is suffered damages and pillages, but its role in the revolution of 1821 was important, supporting practically and financially the fight. Since 1971 it has been converted into a women’s monastery.
Nowadays the monastery has renovated cells and auxiliary areas. Access to the complex is through stairs that lead to two successive gates that are protected by murder-holes. Literally on the edge of the rock, an impressive corridor approximately 100 meters long leads to the buildings that are built on various levels and are connected with stairs and corridors. The catholicon, built according to rubble masonry, is a small aisleless basilica, which according to an inscription dates from 1809, while its bell tower was added in 1831. At its interior there are no wall paintings as decoration, but only wooden-carved screen of the 19th century. At the church’s altar area there are showcases with relics, gospels, sacred relics and dedications.
The monastery celebrates on the 23rd of August and the 21st of November.
As far as I know from experience their big celebration is the 15th of August..Whenever I went there the most people came to celebrate for the Assumption of Panagias on the 15th.
Some people start going from the beginning of August to avoid the crowds.
Some people come bare footed from different villages as a Tama (promise) to Panagia for something they ask from her at a difficult time in their life.