The beautiful ‘’Asteriou’’ monastery is an excellent example of Greek religious art standing in a cool, bird inhabited grove of pines and cypresses on the middle site of mount ‘’Hymettus’’ a completely peaceful place dedicated to prayer and worship of God. The natural beauty of mount ‘’Hymettus’’ is extraordinary. The small monastery is founded in a quite mountainside to a cross and wooden bench at 545 elevation enjoying at the same time the attractive view of the capital city of Athens.
A first historical reference says that the metropolitan of Athens ‘’Asterios’’ has been very influential in the creation of the monastery around the 5th century. However, ‘’Asterios’’ is not mentioned in the formal metropolitan catalogues at that time. On the other hand, according to a second version ‘’st. Lukas of Stiriou’’ became a monk and he lived in the monastery around 920 A.D. Later on he left for the city of ‘’Lebadia’’ building the famous monastery of St. Lukas whose memory is commemorated on February 7th. The insistence of the above historical approach is that the name of ‘’moni Asteriou’’ was given by paraphrasing the word ‘’Lukas of Stiriou’’ leading to ‘’Asteriou’’ the final one.
The earliest reference for the monastery is from the 10th century. Approaching the monastery we observe that the whole building is protected by a wall like a small castle protecting at the same time the main church ‘’catholicon’’ and the other two small buildings near to the main church. Since that moment both buildings are well endowed and conserved. Following the way down we also see the dilapidated Byzantine tower of ‘’Anthousa’’.
Moni Asteriou is belonging to the ‘’Monastery of Asomaton Petraki’’ that is subjected to the Holy Archdiocese of Athens as regards its religious aspect. Monks inhabited Moni Asteriou since 1960. Up to that time the monastery works as an ecclesiastical monumental building being inspected by the 1st Archaeological eforia of Athens. In our days the monastery is supported and encouraged by the abbot and the brotherhood of the mother monastery ‘’Moni Asomaton Petraki’’ wishes and endeavourers to give with a dynamic spiritual attendance its own orthodox worship to our God. For this reason, particularly if weather permitted, divine services are performed in the monastery.
The monastery of Asteriou, like the Monastery of Asomaton Petraki, is dedicated to the Holy Archangels (Gabriel and Michael). Asomaton means bodiless and invisible to our physical eyes creations such as the angels and the archangels. According to our Orthodox tradition angels have no bodily needs or desires and passions, no cares about food, drink clothes or shelter. They have no worries they neither marry nor are given in marriage and no fear death. God created them before man they neither aged for aging, but unchangingly youthful, beautiful and strong being already immortal. The appearance of angels is different purposely as to different persons and occasions.
The interior of the church ‘’catholicon’’ of the monastery is particularly interest because it is entirely decorated with a wall paintings dated back to the 16th century. The buildings themselves spared from fire and unfortunately a remarkable part of the internal paintings were destroyed including the wooden column used as a communication with the roofed surface of the church.

Despite the gradual degradation suffered by the area’s ecosystems, a thoroughly devised and well organized campaign for the conservation and restoration of the mountain’s natural beauty can halt further deterioration. The mountain ‘’Ymmitos’’ or Hymettus’’ massif is endowed with a unique biodiversity, which is amazingly rich despite the mountain’s proximity to the city of Athens. The mountain’s natural environment is well protected by a non-profit organization named as ‘’Philodasiki Enosis Athinon’’ founded in 1899 in Athens. The main object of the organization is the reforestation of fallow land, the encouragement of forest-lovers and the protection of the natural environment. Philodassiki when it was first established undertook the imitative of the restoration of the hills in and around Athens. In 1945 the late president of Philodassiki, Kaiti Argyropoulou, undertook the initiative for the restoration of the around the Byzantine monastery of Kaessariani.This resulted in the planting of more that 3.000.000 trees within an area approximately 6.000.000 sq.m.Through Presintential Decree 91/1974 the whole area was pronounced ‘’Aesthetic Forest’’ due to its distinctive aesthetic and ecological importance. Following the refreshment room (Kalopoula) we observe a memorial tablet dedicated to the president of the organization, Kaiti kiriazi-Argiropoulou, who first established the above non-profit organization.
‘’Moni Asteriou’’ is a historical monument presenting an exceptional archaeological, historical, traditional and artistic significance along with the theological one, pointing out the perfect dedication to prayer and worship of God. For this reason the preservation of the monument and the whole natural environment must be encouraged and performed in order to create an area of incomparable natural beauty and spiritual tradition as well.

Our Lord and the Holy Archagels be with you.