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 city walls of Avila were built in the 11th century to protect the citizens from the Moors. They have been well maintained throughout the centuries and are now a major tourist attraction as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors can walk around about half of the length of the walls.
The layout of the city is an even quadrilateral with a perimeter of 2,516 m. Its walls, which consist in part of stones already used in earlier constructions, have an average thickness of 3 m. Access to the city is afforded by nine gates of different periods; twin 20 m high towers, linked by a semi-circular arch, flank the oldest ones, Puerta de San Vicente and Puerta del Alcázar.