Daou Monastery. The katholikon. View from N. (Photograph: I. Liakoura)
Daou Monastery. The katholikon. View from N. (Photograph: I. Liakoura)
The first out of the two owner’s inscription fragments walled into the NE corner of the external wall.  (Photograph: I. Liakoura)
The Byzantine tower near the Daou Monastery entrance. (Photograph: I. Liakoura)
The Byzantine fountain in the Daou Monastery courtyard. (Photograph: I. Liakoura)
Conch remnants of the old Refectory in the Monastery courtyard, where more remnants are visible. (Photograph: I. Liakoura)

Daou, Monastery, Penteli (Raphina)

Area: Raphina (Penteli)
Date: post-byzantine, with a middle-byzantine phase


The Monastery lies on the eastern slope of Penteli, on the road to Pikermi – Rafina, near a ravine. It is a monastic complex consisting of the katholikon, the cells, the Refectory, a fountain and a defense Byzantine tower in the entrance gate.

The post Byzantine katholikon is exagonal, where the dome is supported on six pilasters. This church type is encountered in Armenia and Georgia.

The name Daou (Da hu and Hu) derives from a corruption of the initial name Tao.

Despite the fact that today’s katholikon is dated to the post Byzantine period, it must have been founded on an older building dated to the middle Byzantine period, as it becomes evident from numerous enwalled Byzantine sculptures such as an inscription with the owner’s name. The inscription is divided into two parts. The first one is on the NE external corner of the katholikon, while the second one on the northern, external pillar.

According to a post Byzantine religious document (sigillium), the Monastery was renovated in the second half of the 16th century.

The katholikon in its present form belongs to that period.

The Monastery was destroyed in the end of the 17th century by Algerian pirates’ raids, who slaughtered the monks, whose heads and relics are displayed in a building of the monastic complex.

Secchi Tarugi F., Il Monastero di Daou-Pendeli in Attica, Palladio 11 (1961) 154, illustration 17-20.