The Monastery of Koutloumousiou is one of twenty monasteries on the Mount Athos peninsula and is located on the northeastern side of the peninsula, near Karyes. It is sixth in hierarchical rank among the monasteries.
While the existence of the monastery is confirmed by document from 1169, 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.References:
The eight towns in south-eastern Sicily, including Ragusa, were all rebuilt after 1693 on or beside towns existing at the time of the earthquake which took place in that year. They represent a considerable collective undertaking, successfully carried out at a high level of architectural and artistic achievement. Keeping within the late Baroque style of the day, they also depict distinctive innovations in town planning and urban building. Together with seven other cities in the Val di Noto, it is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In 1693 Ragusa was devastated by a huge earthquake, which killed some 5,000 inhabitants. Following this catastrophe the city was largely rebuilt, and many Baroque buildings from this time remain in the city. Most of the population moved to a new settlement in the former district of Patro, calling this new municipality 'Ragusa Superiore' (Upper Ragusa) and the ancient city 'Ragusa Inferiore' (Lower Ragusa). The two cities remained separated until 1926, when they were fused together to become a provincial capital in 1927.