The Monastery of Konstamonitou

Credits

General view

Konstamonitou monastery is located on the south-east side of the peninsula at an altitude of 200 m on a wooded slope of the mountain. The monastery was founded in the tenth century by a monk named Konstamonites. Byzantine emperors and Serbian princes helped it to develop, but it was burnt down in the sixteenth century and remained in decline until the end of the eighteenth.

The monastery began to revive in the early nineteenth century, when the east wing was built with a donation by Vassiliki Kondaxi, a wife of Ali Pasha; and fifty years later, the north wing and the katholikon were built with money collected by two monks, Symeon of Stayira and Joseph of Xeropotamou Monastery.

The sanctuary screen in the katholikon is made of Athenian marble. The church is dedicated to Stephen the First Martyr. There are also eight chapels, four inside and four outside the monastery. Those are the chapels of Our Lady, Saint Constantine, All Saints and Saint Nicolas. Into the chapel of Our Lady lies the miracle-working icon of Virgin Portaitissa. The chapels outside the monastery are dedicated to Archangels (in the cemetery), the Holy Trinity, the Panagoudas, Saint Antony and Saint Nicholas (at the port).

The library has 100 codices. The monastery’s treasures include most notably an icon of the Panagia Hodegetria Antiphonetria and an icon of St Stephen. The monastery has thirty monks (1990), observes the coenobitic way of life, and is twentieth in the hierarchy of the Athonite monasteries.


Arhontariki (The Guest House)

Interior view

Interior view

The cells of the monks

The main church (katholikon)

The sea port (arsanas)

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