Agiou Pavlou monastery is an Eastern Orthodox monastery in the monastic state of Mount Athos, located on the easternmost peninsula of Chalkidiki, Greece. The founder of monastery was Paul of Xeropotamou, after whom it is named.
The Monastery was founded in the late 10th to early 11th century by Saint Paul of Xeropotamou, also the founder of the Xeropotamou Monastery. Documents attest of its independence from Xeropotamou by 1035. The Monastery was initially dedicated to Saint George but early on took the name of its founder. Its dedication was later changed to the Presentation of Jesus Christ to the Temple.
Between 1355 and 1365, the Serbian nobleman Antonije Bagaš, together with Nikola Radonja, bought and restored the ruined monastery, becoming its abbott. The restoration of the monastery, supported by Radonja's brothers Vuk Branković and Grgur Branković, marked the beginning of the Serbian period of its history. On October 14, 1410, Serbian Despot Đurađ Branković donated Kuzmin to the monastery, as it was the wish of deceased Prince Lazar Hrebeljanović. Russian pilgrim Isaiah confirms that by the end of the 15h century the monastery was Serb.
In October 1845 Porphyrius Uspensky took 12 leaves of the Radoslav Gospel during his visit, which according to his opinion were the most valuable, and gave them to the Russian National Library in St. Petersburg. The rest of the leaves which remained in the monastery were lost.
The monastery ranks fourteenth in the hierarchy of the Athonite monasteries. Its library contains 494 manuscripts, and over 12,000 printed books.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).