The Monastery of Philotheou is one of twenty monasteries on the Mount Athos peninsula and is located on the eastern side of the peninsula. It is twelfth in hierarchical rank among the monasteries. The name of 'Philotheou' is named after its founder, St Philotheos, and is derived from two Greek words which mean 'Beloved of God'. Philotheou functions as a coenobitic monastery.
Founded by St Philotheos in the last quarter of the 10th century, it was obscure until Serbian and Bulgarian monks settled there between the 14th and 16th centuries. As the Slav monks left, the monastery again became obscure; until the 18th century, when the Greek princes of Moldavia and Wallachia made grants to the monastery, with which the brotherhood had guest quarters, cells and chapels built.
In 1746, the central church was built, and over the next thirty years had fresco's painted, including the Mother of God Glykofiloussa and scenes from Revelation. Additionally, there are ten chapels connected to the monastery, four inside the monastery proper and six outside.
Philotheou possesses the wonderworking icon of the Mother of God Gerontissa, and it's library has 250 manuscript codices and two parchment rolls of the Divine Liturgy. The sacristy contains a piece of the True Cross and the right hand of St John Chrysostom, among other relics.References:
The Beckov castle stands on a steep 50 m tall rock in the village Beckov. The dominance of the rock and impression of invincibility it gaves, challenged our ancestors to make use of these assets. The result is a remarkable harmony between the natural setting and architecture.
The castle first mentioned in 1200 was originally owned by the King and later, at the end of the 13th century it fell in hands of Matúš Èák. Its owners alternated - at the end of the 14th century the family of Stibor of Stiborice bought it.
The next owners, the Bánffys who adapted the Gothic castle to the Renaissance residence, improved its fortifications preventing the Turks from conquering it at the end of the 16th century. When Bánffys died out, the castle was owned by several noble families. It fell in decay after fire in 1729.
The history of the castle is the subject of different legends. One of them narrates the origin of the name of castle derived from that of jester Becko for whom the Duke Stibor had the castle built.
Another legend has it that the lord of the castle had his servant thrown down from the rock because he protected his child from the lords favourite dog. Before his death, the servant pronounced a curse saying that they would meet in a year and days time, and indeed precisely after that time the lord was bitten by a snake and fell down to the same abyss.
The well-conserved ruins of the castle, now the National Cultural Monument, are frequently visited by tourists, above all in July when the castle festival takes place. The former Ambro curia situated below the castle now shelters the exhibition of the local history.