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Φωτογραφίες Μονής

Monastery Xiropotamou

Two hundred meters from the sea, east of the abbey of St. Panteleimona and west of the Simonos Petra Aabbey lies the beautiful abbey of Xeropotamou which is built in a wooded area. According to tradition, ancient Horadria was built there or even probably the litle town of Kleonas.

The abbey’s name comes from the nearby by riverbed, and its buildings dominate the area of Siggiticos bay.

Acoording to tradition, in 424, at the same place, Poulcheria, sister of Emperor Theodosius Micros and wife of Emperor Marcianos, built the Chimarou (torrent) abbey. This abbey changed its name later (we don’t know when) and it was named Xeropotamou abbey. It is also said that it was burned down by the Saracens but Emperor Constantine Porfyrogenitos the seventh (912-959) and Romanos A’ Lekapinos (914-944) rebuilt the abbey.

Moreover, Porfyrogenitos (means born in red) offered to the abbey a sumptuous red mantle, to be worn by the abbot during the feast-days, as Romanos offered a big piece of wood from the Holy Cross.

Nowadays, we can still notice marble inscriptions at the entrance of the ruined tower of the abbey, which are relative to the contributions of the above emperors. The written traditions state that the abbey was built by Paul Xeropotameno in the second half of the 10th century and after Lavras abbey had been built, as the first ritual of Aghion Oros states. Paul became the first abbot of the abbey. He was an ascetic man, with intellectual inetrests and he showed a great traditionalism. In the 11th century, the abbey expanded considerably on the south side of the peninsula, and its boundaries reached the abbey of St. Paul (which according to tradition was also founded by Paul the Xeropotameno). In 1280, the abbey was destroyed but not only was it rebuilt by Emperor Andronicus Paleologos, the second, but he also secured the abbey’s land with a document sealed with his golden seal (1302).

In 1507, it was burned but was rebuilt again with the efforts of the abbey’s monks and the contribution of Sultan Selim the first (1514-1519) who also benefited the whole community of Aghion Oros by issuing the Hatti-Serif (Sacred Defintion).

In 1609, half of the abbey was burned and plundered by pirates, but was soon rebuilt with the help of Wallachia’s King Alexander. The 17th and 18th centuries were quite tough for the monks. At that time, the abbey lost its fifth place in the hierarchy of the abbeys and slipped to the eight plae. In 1760 the abbey was renovated by the prolific author and erudite monk of the abbey Caesario Daponte, from Scopelos. At the same tie, the main temple was also built. It is thirty meters long, nineteen meters wide and fifteen meters high. It was decorated with excellent scenes from the Old a New Testament.

Today, the abbey has a three-story square shaped building. It is a peculiar abbey. It is named in honor of the Forty Saints and celebrates their memory on March 9. Except its main temple, the abbey has twelve chapels. Among the abbey’s treasures, we can notice the four pieces of wood from the Holy Crss, one of which is a present from Emperor Romano and it is the biggest known piece in the world (0, 13x0, 16mm). At the bottom of this piece there is an engraving which is tilled with a re diamond and twelve other precious stones. Furthermore, we can see a small tray made of stealite which, as they say, is a present of Empress Pulcheria, four sceptres of bishops (two of them are made of amer), part of the Magi’s offerings to the infant Jesus, a piece of the Thorny Wreathe, pieces of the sponge and the mantle of Jesus, 61 relics of Saints, precious sacerdotal vesments embroidered with gold, crosses, gospels, liturgical objects, portable icons, documents and others. Its library, which is sitauted over the narthex, contains three hundred and forty manuscripts and four hundred prints. Unfortunately, half of the abey’s souh wing was burned in 1969.