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Koutloumousiou Monastery

This monastery lies close to Karyes on a sweeping slope thick with trees and bushes. It is dedicated to the Transfiguration of Our Lord (celebrated on August 6th). Other names for the monastery are "the monastery of the Voivode", "the lavra of the Rumanian countries" and "the monastery of Chariton".

The katholikon which stahds in the centre of the court follows the plan of the other Athonite churches. It was built in 1540, in the time of the abbot Maximos. Of its five domes the central one is much bigger and higher than the others. The roof is lead-covered, and is much lower over the two narthexes than it is over the main church.

Its wall-paintings, by members of the Cretan School, were executed almost immediately after the erection of the church. Unfortunately they have since been painted over. The glazed outer narthex was built in 1744 at the expense of the hieromonach Isaiah.

The post-Byzantine wooden carved iconostasis with a series of horizontal panels and rich foliate decoration was erected at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Various scenes are carved under the icons of Christ and the Virgin. Within the church at different points are some 150 portable icons, some of which are noteworthy.

The treasury of the monastery contains some very interesting portable icons, sacerdotal vestments, ecclesiastical plate, crucifixes and may other items. In the sanctuary of the katholikon there are decorated reliquaries containing the relics of some 70 saints.

The library is housed in a secure room within the treasury. It contains some 662 manuscripts, of which 100 are written on parchment. There are many other old documents and approximately 3,500 printed books. Some of the manuscripts are illustrated with elaborate decoration and fine miniatures (nos. 60, 61, 62, 29, 100, 412 etc.)


The principal church of the monastery was built in 1540 The principal church of the monastery was built in 1540 (2) An inside view of the monastery The lobby of the main church of the monastery Wall paintings which depict the halls in the monastery
Koutloumousiou Monastery





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