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:
The Abbey of Saint-Etienne, also known as Abbaye aux Hommes ('Men"s Abbey'), is a former monastery dedicated to Saint Stephen (Saint Étienne). It is considered, along with the neighbouring Abbaye aux Dames ('Ladies" Abbey'), to be one of the most notable Romanesque buildings in Normandy. Like all the major abbeys in Normandy, it was Benedictine.
Lanfranc, before being an Archbishop of Canterbury, was abbot of Saint-Etienne. Built in Caen stone during the 11th century, the two semi-completed churches stood for many decades in competition. An important feature added to both churches in about 1120 was the ribbed vault, used for the first time in France. The two abbey churches are considered forerunners of the Gothic architecture. The original Romanesque apse was replaced in 1166 by an early Gothic chevet, complete with rosette windows and flying buttresses. Nine towers and spires were added in the 13th century. The interior vaulting shows a similar progression, beginning with early sexpartite vaulting (using circular ribs) in the nave and progressing to quadipartite vaults (using pointed ribs) in the sanctuary.
The two monasteries were finally donated by William the Conqueror and his wife, Matilda of Flanders, as penalty for their marriage against the Pope"s ruling. William was buried here; Matilda was buried in the Abbaye aux Dames. Unfortunately William"s original tombstone of black marble, the same kind as Matilda"s in the Abbaye aux Dames, was destroyed by the Calvinist iconoclasts in the 16th century and his bones scattered.
As a consequence of the Wars of Religion, the high lantern tower in the middle of the church collapsed and was never rebuilt. The Benedictine abbey was suppressed during the French Revolution and the abbey church became a parish church. From 1804 to 1961, the abbey buildings accommodated a prestigious high school, the Lycée Malherbe. During the Normandy Landings in 1944, inhabitants of Caen found refuge in the church; on the rooftop there was a red cross, made with blood on a sheet, to show that it was a hospital (to avoid bombings).