The Pantokrator Monastery is ranked seventh in the hierarchical order of the twenty monasteries located on the Athos peninsula. As is case of the other institutions on Mount Athos, life at Pantokrator is coenobitic.
The Pantokrator Monastery is located near the Monastery of Stavronikita. The monastery was founded about 1357 by Alexios the Stratopedarch and John the Primikerios. They are buried at the monastery. Their monastery was built on the ruins of monastery of Ravdouchou that had been plundered by pirates during the years of Frankish occupation after the Latin conquest of Constantinople in 1204.
The katholikon within the monastery walls, which dates from the fourteenth century, is dedicated to the Transfiguration of Our Lord. Due to a paucity of space the church is small. It is of Athonite style and has frescos painted by artists of the Macedonian school. The murals were restored in 1854 by the painter Mathaeos of Naousa.
The refectory was built in 1841. The monastery also has eight chapels within its walls and seven more around the monastery placed among the many hermit huts. The skete of the Prophet Elijah also belongs to the Pantokrator monastery.
Pantokrator monastery was seriously damaged by a fire in 1773 and was repaired by the vestry keeper Kyrillos. Damage from a 1948 fire was repaired by the Restoration Service.
The Pantokrator library holds some 350 codices, two liturgical scrolls, and 3,500 printed books. A few codices have been stolen in recent years. Among the vestments, liturgical objects, and relics of saints, the monastery holds a unique and valuable icon of the Virgin Gerontissa and part of the shield of St. Mercurius.References:
The Petersberg Citadel is one of the largest extant early-modern citadels in Europe and covers the whole north-western part of the Erfurt city centre. It was built after 1665 on Petersberg hill and was in military use until 1963. It dates from a time when Erfurt was ruled by the Electors of Mainz and is a unique example of the European style of fortress construction. Beneath the citadel is an underground maze of passageways that can be visited on guided tours organised by Erfurt Tourist Office.
The citadel was originally built on the site of a medieval Benedictine Monastery and the earliest parts of the complex date from the 12th century. Erfurt has also been ruled by Sweden, Prussia, Napoleon, the German Empire, the Nazis, and post-World War II Soviet occupying forces, and it was part of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). All of these regimes used Petersberg Citadel and had an influence on its development. The baroque fortress was in military use until 1963. Since German reunification in 1990, the citadel has undergone significant restoration and it is now open to the public as a historic site.