Thursday, 21 December 2006
Holy Monastery of Docheiariou is
tenth in the hierarchy of the monasteries,
founded in X century by Evthimios who was
monastery’s docheiar (the chief of
provision).In the early 11th century pirate raids drove away some
of the monks, together with the founder, to the Monastery's
In the 14th century, the Emperor John V Palaeologus
and the Prince of Serbia Stefan Dushan helped the Monastery
in a variety of ways. In the next century, Docheiariou passed
through a period of decline, the only setback in its history as it has
never suffered the damage caused by destructive fires. In the 16th century, the
priest Georgios from Adrianople dedicated himself and all his possessions to
the Monastery. At the same period,
with the help of Alexander, Prince of Moldo-Wallachia and his wife, Roxandra,
the property of the Monastery was returned. The 17th century the restoration of the
tower of the Monastery took place,
while in 1660 it was given the title
of 'stavropegic'. Its bell-tower was
built in the 18th century. At the time of the Greek Revolution, the Turks
tortured its monks and carried off its treasures.
The present well-lit katholikon of Docheiariou is a
16th-century building with fine wall-paintings of the Cretan School. The Monastery has
12 chapels, the most important is Our Lady Gorgoipekoos, which contains the
miracle-working icon of Our Lady of the same name.
possesses a piece of the True Cross, relics of saints, sacred vessels, and
vestments. Its library contains 545 manuscripts, 62 of which are on parchment,
and more than 5,000 printed books. Today Docheiariou is the home of some 30
Last Updated ( Friday, 29 December 2006 )
Thursday, 21 December 2006
Monastery is on the southwestern side of the peninsula.
Dionysiou ranks fifth in the hierarchical order on Mount Athos and is dedicated
to St. John the Baptist.
Dionysius Monastery was
founded in the fourteenth century by St. Dionysios of Koreseos. The golden bull
(chyrsobull) authorizing the founding of the monastery
was signed in 1374 by Alexios II
Comneno. A treasure, the bull is
kept in the monastery. Construction
proceeded with financial aid from emperor Alexios III Comnenos.
The monastery is built along the western coast of the peninsula on a rocky cliff high above the
sea and overlooking a deep wooded ravine. In 1535, the monastery was
swept by fire destroying it. Reconstruction began quickly and by 1547 the
principal church of
the monastery, the katholikon, had been built and painted with several murals by
the Cretan painter Tzortis. A golden iconostasis was added in the eighteenth century. Around the
katholikon are number of chapels including
one that is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Inside the monastery
walls, a 25 meter
high (80 feet)
defensive tower was built in 1520.
The tower was used periodically for
safe keeping of the monastery's
library. A dynamic community of monks now
inhabits Dionysiou and has
undertaken the job of renovating and redecorating the older buildings.
The Abbot of
the monastery since 1989 is Petros,
the monastery is inhabited by 45
The monastery library contains many old documents,
including 804 codices and more than 5,000 old printed books. Among the holdings
are Gospels from
the eleventh century as well as chrysobulls (golden bulls) and manuscripts. Among
these manuscripts is an illuminated Gospel from the thirteenth century.
relics of St. Niphon, Patriarch of Constantinople, are housed in a special
crypt in the katholikon.
Last Updated ( Thursday, 25 January 2007 )
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