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Mount Athos

St.Panteleimon PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 28 December 2006

St. Panteleimon Monastery is a Russian Orthodox Monastery and the largest one on the peninsula. The monastery was founded by several monks from Kiev Rus in the 11th century, which is why it is known as 'Rossikon', and traditionally it was inhabited by Kiev and later by Russian Orthodox monks. It was recognized as a separate monastery in 1169. The monastery prospered in the 16th and 17th centuries being lavishly sponsored by the Tsars of Moscovy, but it declined dramatically in the 18th century to the point that there were only two Russian and two Bulgarian monks left by 1730.

normal_P4134838.JPGThe construction of the present monastery on a new site, closer to the seashore, was carried out during the first two decades of the nineteenth century, with the financial help of the ruler of Moldo-Wallachia, Skarlatos Kallimachos. Russian monks numbered 1,000 in 1895, 1,446 in 1903, and more than 2,000 by 1913. During the Tatar yoke in Russia, most of the monks were Greeks and Serbs. Today only 35 monks live in the monastery, which occupies the nineteenth rank in the hierarchical order of the twenty Athonite monasteries. It is coenobitic. It also contains four sketes. The Monastery of St Panteleimon was repeatedly gutted by fires, most famously in 1307 (when Catalan pirates set it on fire) and in 1968.


Today, the monastery features the architecture of a small town, with buildings of various heights and many domes.  The monastery's katholikon was built between 1812–1821 and is dedicated to St. Panteleimon. It features the same style found in all the Athonite churches. Aside from the katholikon, the monastery has many smaller chapels.

Last Updated ( Friday, 29 December 2006 )
Koutloumousiou PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 28 December 2006

The Monastery of Koutloumousiou is located on the north-eastern side of the peninsula, near Karyes. It is sixth in hierarchical rank among the monasteries.


normal_koutloumousiou (4).jpgWhile the existence of the monastery is confirmed by document from 1169 (founded by the Greek Emperor Alexey Komnin), Koutloumousiou Monastery was founded in its present form in the 14th century. Its central church was built in 1540. It is considered to be one of the most magnificent of all the monasteries of Mount Athos.


The central church was built in 1540, but there are many chapels associated with the monastery. The most impressive of these is the chapel of the Protection of the Mother of God, built in 1733, which is at the left of the eso-narthex of the central church and contains a wonderworking icon of the Mother of God holding Christ as a child. Other chapels include St. Natalia, Ss. Kosmas and Damian, All Saints, St. John the Baptist, the Archangels and St. Spyridon.


Koutloumousiou's library contains 662 manuscript codices and 3500 printed books.

The Greek skete of St. Panteleimon belongs to Koutloumousiou, and is very close by.

Last Updated ( Friday, 29 December 2006 )
Konstamonitou PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 28 December 2006

The Holy Monastery of Konstamonitou is the most secluded monastery on the peninsula surrounded by woods and mountains. There are different versions of the monastery’s name, it was named either after Constantine the Great or one of his sons or chestnut grove, and hence it is sometimes called Kastamonitou.

normal_kastamonitou98.jpgAmong the Monastery's benefactors were Prince George Brancovits, Anna, Princess of Serbia, and Radits, Commander-in-Chief of Serbia, who helped the Monastery in the 15th century. However in spite of the financial support the taxation of the Turks led the monks to take loans from Jewish moneylenders and almost lead to the monastery’s bankruptcy. In 1705, the intervention of the French Consul Armand was the salvation of Konstamonitou. In 1717 the east wing of the Monastery was burnt down. The vigorous Abbot Symeon helped to put the Monastery on its feet again and with the funds which he raised built the katholikon in 1867 on the ruins of its predecessor, and restored other buildings. The katholikon is dedicated to St Stephen the Protomartyr.

The Monastery has five chapels within its precinct and four outside.


Last Updated ( Friday, 05 January 2007 )
Karakallou PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 28 December 2006

The Holy Monastery of Karakallou stands on a hillside between the Monasteries of the Great Lavra and Iveron. It is believed that the Roman  Karakalas founded the monastery in the early 11th century. During the Age of Crusade and Caracens raids  Karakallou went through decline, devastation and oppression. By the XII century the monastery was desert.

normal_P4134845.JPGIt was brought back to life by the efforts of the Palaeologue Emperors Andronicus II and John V and of the Patriarch of Constantinople Athanasius. The number of monks increased and the Monastery was reconstructed. In the 17th century the Monastery of St Nicholas in Ismailia was donated to Karakallou.

The other reconstruction of the monastery’s buildings became necessary after a major fire in 1875. Karakallou took an active part in the struggles to throw off the Turkish Yoke.

Karakallou occupies eleventh place among the monasteries of Athos, and has five chapels, two outlying chapels, and 18 cells. Its katholikon is a building of the 16th century with additions in later centuries. It is dedicated to Sts Peter and Paul. The present refectory of the Monastery is a building of 1875.

Today the Monastery is inhabited by approximately 30 monks.

Last Updated ( Friday, 29 December 2006 )
Iveron PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 27 December 2006

normal_iviron2.jpgThe monastery of Iveron is located on the northeast side of the peninsula. The monastery was founded in the last quarter of the tenth century by John Tornikipos, a courtier of David the ruler of Iberia (Georgia). The 16th century had been a period of prosperity for the monastery, and, as result, it had been decorated with splendid painting works.

It occupies the third rank in the hierarchical order of the twenty Athonite monasteries. It is inhabited by 61 monks (1990) and until a few years is coenobitic (communal).

Its katholikon was first built in the first half of the eleventh century and was restored in 1513. It is dedicated to the Dormition of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It follows the typical plant of the Athonite church. The church's interior was decorated at times from the 16th century to the 19th with magnificent frescoes. Its wood-carved iconostasis dates back to the 18th century.

Except the Katholikon there are sixteen chapels within the monastery. Two of them, this of Saint Nicholas and that of the Archangels lie in the eso-narthex. Into the courtyard are two chapels. Near the gate of the monastery is the chapel which houses the thaumaturgical icon of Virgin Portaitissa. To the east is the chapel of Saint John the Baptist.

In front the entrance of the Katholikon lies the Phiale for the blessing of the waters reconstructed in 1865 and opposite of the church stands the refectory.

Last Updated ( Friday, 29 December 2006 )
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