9 km to the west, on a slope of a steep hill, is an oasis with the ever-green garden around it. Since 1800 a huge cypress stands as its guard and custodian. The katholikon of the monastery is adorned by a hagiography revealed in August 1986, picturing the founder Jonas with the monastery in his hand. It is a building of 1470-80, and includes a tower, the cells, warehouses and other rooms around the katholikon. It was restored in 1703 and 1824 respectively. The wooden-carved iconostasis is of the 18th century. The pebbled yard was constructed in 1843. Professor Charis Koutelakis who has carried out extensive research in the island does not exclude the hypothesis that maybe the monastery was built with material coming from an ancient temple. And as the existence of a temple of Poseidon in the island is being discussed - documented by an inscription and a reference by Strabo - this could be the ideal place for the temple. Aghios Pandeleimon is the protector of the island.
Europe is generally agreed to be the birthplace of western culture, including such legendary innovations as the democratic nation-state, football and tomato sauce.The word Europe comes from the Greek goddess Europa, who was kidnapped by Zeus and plunked down on the island of Crete. Europa gradually changed from referring to mainland Greece until it extended finally to include Norway and Russia.Don't be confused that Europe is called a continent without looking like an island, the way the other continents do. It's okay. The Ural mountains have steadily been there to divide Europe from Asia for the last 250 million years. Russia technically inhabits "Eurasia".Europe is presently uniting into one political and economic zone with a common currency called the Euro. The European Union originated in 1993 and is now composed of 27 member states. Its headquarters is in Brussels, Belgium.Do not confuse the EU with the Council of Europe, which has 47 member states and dates to 1949. These two bodies share the same flag, national anthem, and mission of integrating Europe. The headquarters of the Council are located in Strasbourg, France, and it is most famous for its European Court of Human Rights. In spite of these two bodies, there is still no single Constitution or set of laws applying to all the countries of Europe. Debate rages over the role of the EU in regards to national sovereignty. As of January 2009, the Lisbon Treaty is the closest thing to a European Constitution, yet it has not been approved by all the EU states. Text by Steve Smith.