One of the most unique religious monuments in Greece is the historical Sacred shrine "Zoodochos Pighis" (The life-giving Fountain) also known as Panagia I Trypiti in Aigion.
It is built on a 30m. High rock, near to the sea in a cave (hole). Whoever visits the monument for the first time is impressed by the beauty of the place, surrounded by high cypress trees.
From the public road 150 steps lead up to the Sacred Shrine. There is a second road going to the sacred shrine, through the cypress-tree grove. In a rock in the church one finds a cave 3x2m, and 2m high: the asceterion were the miraculous icon was found by a voyager who was ship-wrecked.
On the marble front of the church one finds a commandment ordering to approach the miracle -working icon of the "Life-giving fountain" with fear of God, faith, and love in our hearts. In the narthex the holy water is to be found from an artistic marble fountain the holy water is running constantly.
On the fountain one can read "NIPSON ANONIMATA MI MONA NOPSIN" meaning: be cleaned from your sins by true repentance and do not only clean yourself superficial. The idyllic surroundings and the magnificence of the Main church, the miracle-working Icon are a great comfort for the many visitors.
Approximately 1550 A.D. a voyager was ship-wrecked off the shores of the Corinthian Gulf. In the darkness of the night he discerned a light near the shore. This beacon of hope fitted him with courage and determination. Summoning all his strength he finally made his way ashore and reached the place where the light shone. As he approached the spot he was amazed to find himself before an icon of the Virgin with light shining all around. The shipwrecked kneeled down and prayed. Out of gratitude he contributed money for the erection of a small chapel on the spot. This first asceterion soon developed into a renowned monastery. (They first planned to built the chapel east of the post where the holy Icon was found, because it was on a rock. On the first night after they had started building something happened on exactly the spot where the Holy Icon was found: by wonder the place was reformed and made suitable for a small church. People said that was how "the virgin make her home".
The main cave, over which mouth the church was built is 11x7m, and 4m high. To be able to have the altar on the spot where the Holy Icon was found, the sanctuary is faced southeast (and not east as the Orthodox tradition prescribes).
The Holy church took the form it has today in the 19th century.
The 150 steps marble stairs, that connect the coastal road with the Holy church were built in 1870 designed by Angelou Kopiri.
By Royal Decree of May 8th 1933 the feast day of Panagia I Trypiti is made into the official Religious Feast of Aigion and the Friday of the week after Easter the Holy Icon is carried about in procession. With regulation nr 10/16-5-1970 of the Holy Synod of Greece the Holy Church Panagia I Trypiti is recognized as a NATIONAL SACRED SHRINE. The many and impressive miracles which occur through the intercessions of the Virgin Mother have cansecrated the church in the conscience of the faithful as a national shrine. On the Friday of the Week after Easter ( the Feast day of Panagia I Trypiti) it is moving to see people of every age and circumstance climbing up the steps that lead to the church on their knees or barefoot, with tears in their eyes and gratitude in their hearts, in order to fulfill their "vow" to the most Holy Virgin, who heard their supplication and answered their prayer and delivered them from a particular need or illness.
A true reproduction of he Holy Icon can be obtained by all true believers who desire so.
THE HOLY METROPOLIS
Telephone: 0691-21776, 21777
Visiting hours: The Sacred Shrine is open for visitors until sundown.
TELEPHONE OF THE SECRED SHRINE: 0691-22323