In a distance of approximately 5 km from the centre of the island of Chios, near the Cape of Saint Eleni, is located the monastery of Agios Konstantinos which dominates the hilly area of Frangovounio. Built on a high hill, with its towering walls, it emerges from afar like a fortress.
The monastery was built at the end of the 19th century, by Pachomios Arelas, the so called “Dikaíos” (supervisor monk) of the Holy Fathers’ Skete, in an estate where once was located a deserted temple of St. Constantine, so nuns could dwell there, and operated in 1901.
The katholikon (major temple) of the Monastery, dedicated to the memory of saints Constantine and Eleni, dominates imposingly in the middle of the pebbled enclosure. It is built in a cruciform Byzantine style, decorated with interesting frescoes that stand out for the color harmony of the compositions. The Monastery includes seventy two-storeyed cells, proof of the great number of monks, the Altar, the workshop of hagiography and pottery, the “Zografeíon” (painting worshop), the painting and iconography exhibition, as well as hostels.
The monastery is famous for its workshops both in Greece and abroad. The nuns continue to practice hagiography, textiles, but there is also a workshop of artistic embroideries and ierorafeia (sewing church clothing). Their works always decorated the richest houses of the island, while the dowries for girls were ordered in the Monastery (icons, embroideries, etc.). The workshops are still in operation by the few nuns of nowadays.
The old calendar is followed in the monastery and the regulation prohibiting entry to men is strictly adhered to. From the moment someone arrives at the hill of Agios Konstantinos, he feels he has left behind a bustling world and enjoys the tranquility of the place, the clarity and its high aesthetics where the white of purity, the imperial purple and the blue of sea and sky dominate.