Vatopedi Monastery

Mount Athos, Greece

The Holy and Great Monastery of Vatopedi on Mount Athos was built during the second half of the 10th century by three monks, Athanasius, Nicholas, and Antonius, from Adrianople, who were disciples of Athanasius the Athonite.

From then onwards, several buildings have been constructed, most of them were built during the Byzantine period and during the 18th and 19th centuries when the monastery reached its highest peak.

Vatopedi features numerous wings, towers, etc. The katholikon (main church) was built in the tenth century, and is dedicated to the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in accordance with the Athonite architecture. Samples of Byzantine mosaics remain, some of which were retouched in the 12th century and in 1312. Nineteen smaller chapels in addition to the katholikon lie within and outside the boundaries of the monastery. Five are in the katholikon. These of the Saint Nicholas and Saint Demetrios lie left and right of the eso-narthex, and the chapel of the Virgin of Consolation. In the monastery are the chapels of the Holy Girdle and of the Saints Kosmas and Damian.

More than 120 monks live in the monastery today, where extensive construction projects are underway to restore the larger buildings.

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Mount Athos, Greece
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Founded: 10th century
Category: Religious sites in Greece

Rating

4.8/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

minodora vasile (18 months ago)
I really love this place! WONDERFUL!!!
M Kanev (20 months ago)
Extremely beautiful, peaceful and full of Christian spirit. It's one place every orthodox Christian should visit.
John Demetriou (2 years ago)
It's basically a four star hotel. Everything you want is available. It's also a monastery to visit. The church inside is beuatiful. Lots of gold and other artifacts. There is also a sacristy (museum) which includes a few ancient artifacts as well. If you are going to stay you will have all amenities. Two meals a day, wine, fruit greek coffee. But all under their schedule obviously
Eleutherios Abramidis (2 years ago)
Excellent Hospitality at the most amazing Monastery!
tuma (2 years ago)
A very spiritual place which relaxes the body and soul and the monks are very very spiritual and they help you with whatever you need and answer all questions regarding Christianity
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Hagios Demetrios

The Church of Saint Demetrius, or Hagios Demetrios, is the main sanctuary dedicated to Saint Demetrius, the patron saint of Thessaloniki. It is part of the site Palaeochristian and Byzantine Monuments of Thessaloniki on the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO since 1988.

The first church on the spot was constructed in the early 4th century AD, replacing a Roman bath. A century later, a prefect named Leontios replaced the small oratory with a larger, three-aisled basilica. Repeatedly gutted by fires, the church eventually was reconstructed as a five-aisled basilica in 629–634. This was the surviving form of the church much as it is today. The most important shrine in the city, it was probably larger than the local cathedral. The historic location of the latter is now unknown.

The church had an unusual shrine called the ciborium, a hexagonal, roofed structure at one side of the nave. It was made of or covered with silver. The structure had doors and inside was a couch or bed. Unusually, it did not hold any physical relics of the saint. The ciborium seems to have been a symbolic tomb. It was rebuilt at least once.

The basilica is famous for six extant mosaic panels, dated to the period between the latest reconstruction and the inauguration of the Byzantine Iconoclasm in 730. These mosaics depict St. Demetrius with officials responsible for the restoration of the church (called the founders, ktetors) and with children. An inscription below one of the images glorifies heaven for saving the people of Thessalonica from a pagan Slavic raid in 615.

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Following the Great Fire of 1917, it took decades to restore the church. Tombstones from the city"s Jewish cemetery - destroyed by the Greek and Nazi German authorities - were used as building materials in these restoration efforts in the 1940s. Archeological excavations conducted in the 1930s and 1940s revealed interesting artifacts that may be seen in a museum situated inside the church"s crypt. The excavations also uncovered the ruins of a Roman bath, where St. Demetrius was said to have been held prisoner and executed. A Roman well was also discovered. Scholars believe this is where soldiers dropped the body of St. Demetrius after his execution. After restoration, the church was reconsecrated in 1949.