Holy Monastery of St Nicholas at Zaros
The monastery of St. Nicholas, once a dependency of the monastery of Valsamonero, is located a kilometre and a half north of the settlement of Zaros, at the south entrance to the ravine of St. Nicholas. It is mentioned as a dependency of the monastery of Valsamonero with the name of “St. Nicholas at Karopouliana” in the year 1644 in the inventory of the portable wealth of the monastery by the abbot Jeremiah Kornaros. The settlement of a group of nuns, probably for a short time, in the area at the end of the 19th century is one of the few pieces of information we have about the monastery. The present complex consists mainly of new buildings of the 19th and 20th centuries that surround the original catholicon, the only surviving part of the older monastery, which is a cluster of two single-nave independent churches of the Venetian period. The south one, the smallest, dedicated to St. Nicholas, contains partially preserved wall paintings of the beginning of the 14th century inside, while the north one, dedicated to St. Paraskevi, abandoned already from the beginning of the 20th century, was restored in the 1970s. The art of the wall paintings of the church is characteristic of the first decade of the 14th century during which the coexistence of linear elements of the Komnenian period with the new techniques of the plastic rendition of figures, characteristic of the art of the Palaeologan period, is observed. In the second half of the 20th century, the monastery was expanded with new buildings, after the settlement of a brotherhood of monks.