The Xenophontos Monastery is one of the twenty monasteries located on the peninsula of Mount Athos in northeastern Greece. The monastery is on southwestern side of the peninsula near St. Panteleimon's Monastery. Xenophontos ranks sixteenth in the hierarchical order on Mount Athos.
First mention of the founding of a monastery was in 998, while the monk Xenophon is credited with building the monastery that bears his name in 1010. After the fall of Constantinople, Xenophontos began a period of hard times as the monastery was alternatively destroyed by pirates and rebuilt. Each time rulers from eastern Europe would fund rebuilding efforts. Such attacks continued until the 18th century.
In the 16th century a katholikon was built near the entrance to the monastery in the southern part of the monastery precinct and dedicated to St. George the Trophybearer. This church featured frescos painted by Antonius of the Cretan school. In the 18th century the monastery began to prosper again and a new katholikon was built. It was also restored between 1817 and 1837. This church remains the largest katholikon on the Holy Mount. This building was located in the northern part of the monastery precinct.
Within the monastery precincts there are eight chapels. Two of these are associated with the old katholikon where the chapels of St. Demetrios and St. Lazaros are within the katholikon. The other six, St. John the Theologian, St. Euphemia, Ss. Cosmos and Damian, the Dormition of of the Virgin, the Presentation of the Virgin, and St. Stephen, are outside it. There are also six chapels outside the precincts of the monastery. Additionally, the skete of the Annunciation or Xenophontos belong to the monastery.
The library of Xenophontos contains over 4,000 printed books and some 300 manuscripts.References:
The Palazzo Colonna is a palatial block of buildings built in part over ruins of an old Roman Serapeum, and has belonged to the prestigious Colonna family for over twenty generations.
The first part of the palace dates from the 13th century, and tradition holds that the building hosted Dante in his visit to Rome. The first documentary mention notes that the property hosted Cardinal Giovanni and Giacomo Colonna in the 13th century. It was also home to Cardinal Oddone Colonna before he ascended to the papacy as Martin V (1417–1431).
With his passing, the palace was sacked during feuds, and the main property passed into the hands of the Della Rovere family. It returned to the Colonna family when Marcantonio I Colonna married Lucrezia Gara Franciotti Della Rovere, the niece of pope Julius II. The Colonna"s alliance to the Habsburg power, likely protected the palace from looting during the Sack of Rome (1527).
Starting with Filippo Colonna (1578–1639) many changes have refurbished and create a unitary complex around a central garden. Architects including Girolamo Rainaldi and Paolo Marucelli labored on specific projects. Only in the 17th and 18th centuries were the main facades completed. Much of this design was completed by Antonio del Grande (including the grand gallery), and Girolamo Fontana (decoration of gallery). In the 18th century, the long low facade designed by Nicola Michetti with later additions by Paolo Posi with taller corner blocks (facing Piazza Apostoli) was constructed recalls earlier structures resembling a fortification.
The main gallery (completed 1703) and the masterful Colonna art collection was acquired after 1650 by both the cardinal Girolamo I Colonna and his nephew the Connestabile Lorenzo Onofrio Colonna and includes works by Lorenzo Monaco, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Palma the Elder, Salviati, Bronzino, Tintoretto, Pietro da Cortona, Annibale Carracci (painting of The Beaneater), Guercino, Francesco Albani, Muziano and Guido Reni. Ceiling frescoes by Filippo Gherardi, Giovanni Coli, Sebastiano Ricci, and Giuseppe Bartolomeo Chiari celebrate the role of Marcantonio II Colonna in the battle of Lepanto (1571). The gallery is open to the public on Saturday mornings.
The older wing of the complex known as the Princess Isabelle"s apartments, but once housing Martin V"s library and palace, contains frescoes by Pinturicchio, Antonio Tempesta, Crescenzio Onofri, Giacinto Gimignani, and Carlo Cesi. It contains a collection of landscapes and genre scenes by painters like Gaspard Dughet, Caspar Van Wittel (Vanvitelli), and Jan Brueghel the Elder.
Along with the possessions of the Doria-Pamphilij and Pallavacini-Rospigliosi families, this is one of the largest private art collections in Rome.