Ano Mera is located almost in the heart of the island, just 8 km from the capital of Mykonos, Chora. With a population of 1459 inhabitants, Ano Mera is the picturesque village one comes across along the northeast shores of the island. It not only stands out for its classical Cycladic beauty, but also for its scenic streets and traditional taverns.
In Ano Mera one may visit the historic monastery of Panagia Tourliani, one of the main attractions of the whole island, built in the 15th century. The all-white monastery is located right in front of the main square of the village. The whole village of Ano Mera has been developed mainly around this monastery. The square, which became pedestrianised in 2001, is surrounded by traditional cafes and taverns, renowned for their excellent Mykonian meats done on the spit and barbecue. Apart from the exceptional meat, Mykonos is also known for the spicy cheese accompanying the local delicacies. Also, in the village, one finds the “Kopanisti” workshop, where all the secrets of preparation of that spicy cheese are concealed.
So if you find yourself in this village do not hesitate to astray into the quaint alleys and ensure that you try homemade local recipes. It will be like a temporary visit to “another” Mykonos ..!
Miraculous icon of Panagia Tourliani - Monastery of Ano Mera
The honor in the face of the Virgin Mary is special and is at the heart of the religiousness of the pious Mykonians, as is the case in the rest of the Cycladic islands. Numerous are the temples, who are honored in the name of the Virgin and many are the toponyms, which are brought by the General Supreme General and Protector of our nation to temples devoted to His grace on the picturesque island of Mykonos.
The Soul of Mykonians is located in Panagia Tourliani, the patron saint of this island and its historical monastery, located in Ano Mera and 7 km from Mykonos Town.
Numerous legends, traditions, miracles and stories link this historic Mykonos temple pilgrimage, in which the inhabitants of the island have been appealing and appealing to every joy and sorrow. And Virgin Mary Tourliani always gave and will give the solution and comfort to every suffering and afflicted soul. It is indicative that the ships of the island would never leave if the sailors did not pray to the miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary and did not lie in Those hopes and their dreams.
The historic monastery of Panagia Tourliani, which is the religious creed of Mykonians and the protector of the island, was founded in 1542.
The name "Tourliani" is due to two different versions. According to one version, the miraculous icon of Virgin Mary, which is inscribed on her silver shirt "Ekatontapyliani of Paros", was found in the sea area of Tourlos outside Mykonos Town. According to another version, the name "Tourliani" came from the name of a nun, Tourlos, which exerted on the site where the monastery is located today. At that time the first cells of two monks began to be built, and they left Paros in 1537 to protect themselves from the pirates and arrived at Mykonos, seeking a calm and safe place away from the sea. In this place, where a small temple of the Presentation of the Virgin Mary existed before, the historical monastery of Panagia Tourliani was founded, where the miraculous icon of the Holy Virgin, found on the coast of the island and the invaluable spiritual treasure of Mykonos, was transferred for safety reasons.
The historic monastery of Panagia Tourliani celebrates with every ecclesiastic splendor and the plentiful participation of the pious Mykonians on 23 August, on the day of the Return of the Feast of the Almighty Virgin Mary. But the old holy monastery is associated with the time of its founding and with old worshiping customs and beautiful traditions. Thus, from 1542 to today, the traditional custom of the descent of the miraculous icon of Panagia Tourliani continues on Saturday the first week of the Great Lent to the monastery in Chora and its ascension from Chora to the monastery on Saturday of Lazarus.
During the descent and rising of the image, the Mykonian people participate with great piety, walking 7 km from Ano Mera, where the monastery is located, in Chora and vice versa. During the Great Forty, the miraculous icon remains for adoration in one of the three parish churches of Chora (Megali Panagia, Panahrantos, Agia Kyriaki). This traditional custom of the image in Chora gave all sailors on the island the opportunity to worship the holy and perfect image of the Goddess and to ask for her embassies before departing for their journey.