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Φωτογραφίες Μονής

Monastery Agios Pavlou

Between two torrents, twenty minutes away from the sea, lies the cenobetic abbey of St. Paul, situated midway between the Nea Skite and the Dionysiou Abbey. It is built forty meters above sea level and according to legends; it was founded in the 8th century. Anyway, evidences for the abbey’s existence date back to the 10th century, when abbot of the abbey was Paul the Xeropotamenos. Paul, along with the First of Aghion Oros (the Supervisor), was sento to Emperor John Tsimiski, in order to denounce Athanassios the Athonian for the innovations he established in Aghio Oros.

Another legend states that at the very same place where this abbey is built, existed another one which was devoted to the Presentation of the Virgin Mary and which was built by the ascetic Stephen in 337. Anyway, the abbey and its limits are mentioned in a document (1257) issued by emperor Michael Paleologos. At the third ritual of Aghion Oros, the abbey comes in the 18th place.

The abbey was destroyed in the 14th century, probably by the Catalans (1309). As a result, it became a cell and in 1360 it was sold by the Sovereign abbey of Xeropotamou , to the Serbian monks Gerasimos and Anthony. Since then, the abbey’s renovators and bnefactors are all kings from Serbia, Moldavia and Wallachia. Among them, George Vragovin, who built the old main temple and his daughter Maro, wife of the Sultan Murat the second, and mother of Porthetu, who offered to the abbey part of the offerings, which the three Magi had offered to the infant Jesus Christ. In 1817, the monks rebuilt the ruined main temple and they decorated with marbles from the quarries of Tenos, Penteli and Aghion Oros, under the guidance of the artisan Lyrite from Tenos.

The library contains 492 manuscripts, 13.000 prints, imperial and ecclesiastical documents, hand-written messages from the Patriarch, etc. Also, hundreds of documents, mainly concerning Turkish and Slavonian offerings, are kept there. Among the collection of valuables, we can see wood from the Holy Cross, a part of the offerings of the three Magi to the infant Jesus, valuable icons, golden covers for gospels, Silver and enamel amulets, crosses, several objects of worship, diptychs, a portable painting on glass which dates back to the 13th century and shows the Lord’s Prayer and others.

Today, the abbey has 45 monks and 80 dependants. The abbey has also 10 chapels, and amongst them is that one of St. George with wall-paints, which dates back to the 16th century.

The abbey is considered as one of the most strict cenobetic abbeys in Athos.