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
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.
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.
Treasures held within the monastery
the treasures of the Monastery are vestments and liturgical vessels, the
skull of the Apostle Bartholomew and of St Christopher, and a fragment of the
True Cross. The library contains 279 manuscripts and some 2,500 printed books.
icons within the monastery
The icon of 12 Apostles. In 1722 the monk Dionysius
described this icon in his book
“Interpretation of Iconographic art”
The icon of Sts. Peter and Paul was painted in 1640