St. Panteleimon Monastery is built on the southwest side of the peninsula of Mount Athos. It is often referred to as 'Russian' and does have historical and liturgical ties to the Russian Orthodox Church; nevertheless, like all the other monastic settlements on Mount Athos, the monastery is under the direct ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and all its monks are citizens of Greece, usually naturalized.
The monastery was founded by several monks from Kievan Rus in the 11th century, which is why it is known as 'Rossikon'. It has been inhabited by mainly Russian monks in certain periods of its history. It was recognized as a separate monastery in 1169.
The monastery prospered in the 16th and 17th centuries being lavishly sponsored by the tsars of Moscovy, but it declined dramatically in the 18th century to the point where there were only two Russian and two Bulgarian monks left by 1730.
The construction of the present monastery on a new site, closer to the seashore, was carried out during the first two decades of the 19th century, with the financial help of the ruler of Moldo-Wallachia, Skarlatos Kallimachos. The monastery occupies the nineteenth rank in the hierarchical order of the twenty Athonite monasteries.
In 1913, the monastery was the site of a raging theological argument (Imiaslavie) among Russian monks, which led to tsarist Russian intervention and the deportation of approximately 800 of the monks on the losing side of the debate.
The Monastery of St Panteleimon was repeatedly gutted by fires, most famously in 1307 (when Catalan mercenaries set it aflame) and in 1968.References:
The castle of La Iruela, small but astonishing, is located on the top of a steep crag in Sierra de Cazorla, Segura y Las Villas Natural Park. From the castle, impressive views of the surrounding area and of the town can be enjoyed.
The keep dates from the Christian era. It has a square base and small dimensions and is located at the highest part of the crag.
There are some other enclosures within the tower that create a small alcázar which is difficult to access.
In a lower area of the castle, protected with defensive remains of rammed earth and irregular masonry, is an old Muslim farmstead.
After a recent restoration, an open-air theater has been built on La Iruela castle enclosure. This theater is a tribute to the Greek and Classic Eras and holds various artistic and cultural shows throughout the year.
The first traces of human activity in La Iruela area are dated from the Copper Age. An intense occupation continued until the Bronze Age.
Originally, La Iruela (like Cazorla) was a modest farmstead. From the 11th century, a wall and a small fortress were built on the hill to protect the farmers.
Around 1231, don Rodrigo Ximénez de Rada, Archbishop of Toledo, conquered La Iruela and made it part of the Adelantamiento de Cazorla. Over the Muslim fortress, the current fortress was built.
Once the military use of the fortress ended, it was used as cemetery.