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 Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.
The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick. The tower was likely inhabited by the principal family or clan of the area but also served as a last resort for the village in case of an attack.
The broch continued to be inhabited while it began to collapse and the original structures were altered. The cistern was filled in and the interior was repartitioned. The ruin visible today reflects this secondary phase of the broch's use.
The site is surrounded by three ditches cut out of the rock with stone ramparts, encircling an area of around 45 metres diameter. The remains of numerous small stone dwellings with small yards and sheds can be found between the inner ditch and the tower. These were built after the tower, but were a part of the settlement's initial conception. A 'main street' connects the outer entrance to the broch. The settlement is the best-preserved of all broch villages.
Pieces of a Roman amphora dating to before 60 AD were found here, lending weight to the record that a 'King of Orkney' submitted to Emperor Claudius at Colchester in 43 AD.
At some point after 100 AD the broch was abandoned and the ditches filled in. It is thought that settlement at the broch continued into the 5th century AD, the period known as Pictish times. By that time the broch was not used anymore and some of its stones were reused to build smaller dwellings on top of the earlier buildings. Until about the 8th century, the site was just a single farmstead.
In the 9th century, a Norse woman was buried at the site in a stone-lined grave with two bronze brooches and a sickle and knife made from iron. Other finds suggest that Norse men were buried here too.