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Φωτογραφίες Μονής

Monastery Stavronikita

You can reach the Stavronikita abbey either by motorboat from the Pantokratora or the Iveron abbey, or by car from Karies. You can also go there on foot. All around the abbey there are gardens with huge chestnut trees, like in many other abbeys of Aghion Oros. The abbey was probably founded in the 10th century. In the 11th century, its’ tower were used as a watchtower for the inhabitants of Karies. There are many legends concerning the abbey’s foundation. According to one of them, in the earlier days, the Haritona abbey was situated there, or according to another, Stavros and Nikitas established their cells there and that is the reason why the abbey is called Stavronkitas. In 1533, it was sold as a cell by the Philotheou abbey to Abbot Gregory, for 4.000 aspra (coins of a very small value). Under the care of the young abbot at the beginning and of the Patriarch Ieremia (1537-1545) later on the abbey was rebuilt and renamed St. Nicholaos.

In 1607 and 1879, fires destryed part of the abbey but it was rebuilt with the help of the monks of this and various other abbeys. The many high debts wouldn’t allow the monks to make any additions to the buildings or even maintain the existing ones properly until 1960. At the time, the monks finally paid off the debts. In 1968, the abbey was converted into a cenobetic. The main temple has excellent wall paintings which date from 1546 and it is named in honor of Saint Nicholas. The wall paintings were painted according to the Cretan art by the famous artist Theophanes and his son Simeon. The library contains 58 hand-written codes of parchment (11th-14th century), two made of silk, 109 made of paper (14th-19th century) and thousands of prints. Among the altar’s wall paintings, we notice the excellent painting of the Lord’s Last Supper.

Included in the collection of its treasures are excellent portable icons, crosses, relics of saints, amulets, liturgical objects and a mosaic icon of Saint Nicholaos the Streda that dates back to the 17th century.

According to the legend, this icon was found at the bottom of the sea by some fishermen near the abbey and they gave it to the monks. The icon had an oyster (Strede in Greek) on the saints’ forehead and that is why Saint Nicholaos was called Stredas.