Church of Panagia Portokalousa or Katakekrymmeni

Municipality of Argos

The temple of Panagia Portokalousa or Katakekrymmeni (sacred to the “Eisodia” of Virgin Mary: the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary)is in the north side of Larissa, upon a rock. It was named Portokalousa because the Argeians had once a custom to throw oranges to one another and especially the newlywed couples at the day of “Eisodia”, which was celebrated at 21st of November.
The temple of Mary was firstly used as a monastery and it was found in 1700. It is placed exactly in the same place, where the temple of Hera was. The monastery became too rich after a while and it flourished so much that it was referred to in a Government’s newspaper of 1835 as “part of the Municipal of Argos”. Before the Revolution it is said the monastery’s abbot was Venediktos (1803) and after him Parthenios until 1845. During the same period of time, the priest Ananias Dagres from Kourtaki is said to be the most remarkable from all the previous priests. The priest Ananias Dagres from Kourtaki opened the road, which leads from Portitses to the Monastery and expanded its building complex. Despite the fact that his action was especially known in the area, he was forced by the General Tsokris, with whom he obviously did not have very good relationships, to abandon Argos and go to a monastery of the Valley. After that, in 1856 the monastery became a parish church and chapel of St. John. In 1906, on Holy Saturday to Easter Sunday, 4th of April, it was destroyed by fire, which was caused by firework, probably.
The monastery was connected to several events of the period before and during the Revolution. In the inside of the Church, the 1st school of Argos, which was founded in 1798 with initiative of Peroukeoi, functioned there. Hesaeas Kalamaras from Agioneri, who was also the leader of the school in the period of 1805-1821, the priest-monk Nikephoros Baboukis from Kalavryta and the monks Ieremias and Raphael also taught there. The building went on functioning as a school after the Revolution of 1821, as well.
After the defeat of Greeks in the Xeria (25-4-1821), the civilians resorted to the monastery, in order to avoid Kahagiabeis’s anger. In 1822, in the space of the Church, the 1st mint was functioned.
Many sacred antiquities have been found and saved in this space there, like an icon of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (1705) and a Gospel of Venetian edition (1776).

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