The Dochiariou Monastery is located on the southwestern coast of the Athos Peninsula in northern Greece. It is ranked tenth in the hierarchical order of the twenty monasteries located on the peninsula.
The origins of Dochiariou Monastery can be traced to the 10th century. The circumstances of its founding are varied. One variant is that the monastery was originally founded near the port of Daphne at the end of the tenth century by Euthymios, who was a pupil of St. Athanasius the Athonite, and a 'dohiaris', that is one who made 'dohia'. Another attributes the founding of the monastery to the monk Daniel of Dochiariou between 1030-1032. Another, that it was named after a monk, Athanasio Lavrioti, who was responsible for the keeping of the wine and oil supplies.
The monastery went into decline shortly after its founding, probably plundered by pirates during the years of Frankish occupation of Mount Athos after the Latin conquest of Constantinople in 1204. The surviving monks then began the present monastery. During the fourteenth century Dochiariou received support from emperor John Paleologos V and Stephen IV of Serbia. The katholikon for the monastery was built in the mid sixteenth century (1568) with financial aid from Alexander and Roxandra of Moldavia and John Lapousneanos. The frescos of the katholikon were painted by the Cretan painter Tzortzis. Then during the occupation of Mount Athos by the Ottoman sultan during the Greek war for independence in 1821, Dochiariou lost all its property.
The katholikon, which was built on the foundation of an earlier church, is dedicated to the archangels, Ss. Michael and Gabriel. The feast day is November 8. The church style follows that of the other Athonite katholikons. The katholikon is the largest among those monasteries on Mount Athos. The murals in the katholikon were done by George the Cretan in 1568, with further work done in 1783. The refectory was built at the same time as the katholikon. The murals in the refectory were done in 1675. There are ten chapels in the monastery.
The Dochiariou monastery library holds 441 manuscripts of which 395 are catalogued, 100 codices, and 1,500 printed books. The monastery also holds many valuable vestments, liturgical objects, and relics of saints. Also, among the treasures is a fragment of the True Cross and the icon of the Virgin Gorgoepikoos which is in the chapel near the entrance to the Katholikon that is dedicated to the Panagia (Virgin Mary).References:
German crusaders known as the Livonian Brothers of the Sword began construction of the Cēsis castle (Wenden) near the hill fort in 1209. When the castle was enlarged and fortified, it served as the residence for the Order's Master from 1237 till 1561, with periodic interruptions. Its ruins are some of the most majestic castle ruins in the Baltic states. Once the most important castle of the Livonian Order, it was the official residence for the masters of the order.
In 1577, during the Livonian War, the garrison destroyed the castle to prevent it from falling into the control of Ivan the Terrible, who was decisively defeated in the Battle of Wenden (1578).
In 1598 it was incorporated into the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Wenden Voivodship was created here. In 1620 Wenden was conquered by Sweden. It was rebuilt afterwards, but was destroyed again in 1703 during the Great Northern War by the Russian army and left in a ruined state. Already from the end of the 16th century, the premises of the Order's castle were adjusted to the requirements of the Cēsis Castle estate. When in 1777 the Cēsis Castle estate was obtained by Count Carl Sievers, he had his new residence house built on the site of the eastern block of the castle, joining its end wall with the fortification tower.
Since 1949, the Cēsis History Museum has been located in this New Castle of the Cēsis Castle estate. The front yard of the New Castle is enclosed by a granary and a stable-coach house, which now houses the Exhibition Hall of the Museum. Beside the granary there is the oldest brewery in Latvia, Cēsu alus darītava, which was built in 1878 during the later Count Sievers' time, but its origins date back to the period of the Livonian Order. Further on, the Cēsis Castle park is situated, which was laid out in 1812. The park has the romantic characteristic of that time, with its winding footpaths, exotic plants, and the waters of the pond reflecting the castle's ruins. Nowadays also one of the towers is open for tourists.