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:
Heidelberg Castle is a famous ruin and one of the the most important Renaissance structures north of the Alps. The rich and eventful history of Heidelberg Palace began when the counts palatine of the Rhine, – later prince electors – established their residence at Heidelberg. The earliest castle structure was built before 1214 and later expanded into two castles circa 1294; however, in 1537, a lightning-bolt destroyed the upper castle. Until the Thirty Years’ War, Heidelberg Palace boasted one of the most notable ensembles of buildings in the Holy Roman Empire. The present structures had been expanded by 1650, before damage by later wars and fires. In 1764, another lightning-bolt caused a fire which destroyed some rebuilt sections.
The 19th century brought a new wave of admiration: a sight both terrible and beautiful, the ruins epitomised the spirit of the Romantic movement. Heidelberg Palace was elevated to a national monument. The imposing edifice and its famous garden, the Hortus Palatinus, became shrouded in myth. The garden, the last work commissioned by the prince electors, was never completed. Some remaining landscaped terraces and other vestiges hint at the awe-inspiring scale of this ambitious project. In the 17th century, it was celebrated as the “eighth wonder of the world”. While time has taken its toll, Heidelberg Palace’s fame lives on to this day.
Heidelberg Castle is located 80 metres up the northern part of the Königstuhl hillside, and thereby dominates the view of the old downtown. Set against the deep green forests on the north flank of Königstuhl hill, the red sandstone ruins tower majestically over the Neckar valley.