Built on tall rock at the Castle of Mandraki is the monastery of Panagia Spiliani. According to tradition, in 1400 AD a farmer discovered a small picture of the Virgin Mary, which he brought to the Church of Panagia Potamitissa. A few days later, the picture disappeared only to be found later in a cave at the top of a large rock. The inhabitants returned it to the church but the incident was repeated. For this reason it was decided to build the cave as a church and it was done so a few years later. Going up the 130 steps, the visitor arrives at the holy cave and sees the remarkable wooden altarpiece from 1725 AD. On the altarpiece, images of Jesus, Virgin Mary with the Holy Child and the Assumption of Virgin Mary and St. Charalambos are visible. T
he image of the Virgin Mary, padded by silver, is double-faced: on the back it features St. Nicholas and on the other side the Virgin Mary with the Holy Child, crafted with the style of the russian school. It is said that in Virgin Mary’s left hand lies the little picture that had been discovered in the 13th century AD. The picture is miraculous, and that is why on the 15th of August crowds of pilgrims visit the island.