Where is the Holy Monastery of Koutloumousi?
The Holy Monastery of Koutloumousi is built near Karyes, the capital of Mount Athos, and is dedicated to the Transfiguration of the Savior (August 6). The Monastery occupies the sixth place in the hierarchy of the monasteries of Mount Athos.
When was the Koutloumousi Monastery founded and who is the founder
The Holy Monastery of Koutloumousi seems to be built before 1169, as it is mentioned in an official document of that year. The founder of the Monastery is considered to be a monk, called Kallistos, who came from the court of Koutloumos, progenitor of the Christianized Seljuk dynasty.
The Holy Monastery of Koutloumousi over the centuries
From the first years of its foundation, the Monastery of Koutloumousi had as a benefactor the emperor Alexios I Comnenus, who helped the monastery to flourish.
The struggle of the monks against the union with the papal church
During 13th century the Monastery faced a big crisis, due to the insistence coming from outside for the union of the two Churches. During the reign of Emperor Michael, a military detachment arrived at Mount Athos in order to enforce the union.
The tragic events that took place during the struggle of the Athonite monks, led to the hanging of several monks from Koutloumousi, who were then buried behind the Church of the monastery.
The annexations of monasteries give strength to Koutloumousi
After these events, in 1287, the first abbot (Protos) of Mount Athos granted the Stavronikita Monastery to Koutloumousi. Some years later, in 1329, the Anapavsa Monastery was also given to Monastery of Koutloumousi. These accessions, combined with the spiritual struggle of the fathers, brought an important period of prosperity to the Monastery of Koutloumousi.
At the same time, in the 14th century, the Monastery's relations with Wallachia began. The heyday of the monastery came with the enlightened guidance of Abbot Chariton from Imbro, mainly in the second half of the 14th century.
Chariton secured significant help from Alexander Basarab and John Vladislavos, who sent great financial help and ushered in a new period of reconstruction.
Pirate attacks hit the Koutloumousi Monastery
At the same time, Koutloumousi was experiencing hard times with the predatory raids of Catalan and Turkish pirates. In this critical period, Andronikos II Paleologos, and then Theodora Kantakouzene (wife of Orhan), significantly helped the Monastery to stand strong again.
In 1393 the Ecumenical Patriarch Antonios declared Koutloumousi a Stavropegic and Patriarchal Monastery.
At the beginning of the 15th century, the monks of Koutloumousi Monastery settled and annexed the Monastery of Saint Alypios, which was then deserted. Then, with a patriarchal seal in 1428, the Monastery of Saint Alypios was absorbed officially by Koutloumousi Monastery, which gained more power.
Fires weaken the Monastery of Koutloumousi
The great period of prosperity was followed by decline, to which the great fire of 1497 also contributed.
In 1767 another fire destroyed the eastern side of the Koutloumousi Monastery. The assistance of the Patriarch of Alexandria Matthew III was decisive in the renovation of the Monastery.
In the middle of the 19th century, in 1856, the Monastery of Koutloumousi returned to the communal system of administration.
A little later, in 1857 and 1870, the fire came again with ferocity to hit the buildings of the Monastery. The repairs were completed with the memorable effort of Abbot Meletios.
The Monastery of Koutloumousiou in recent years
After World War II, the Monastery was in serious danger of lack of monks. This fact, as well as the loss of a large part of its property, endangered the survival of the Monastery.
At the same time, another blow to the Monastery was the last fire that occurred in 1980, the damage of which was restored in recent years.
The buildings and metochia of Koutloumousi Monastery
The Church of Koutloumousi dates back to 1540 and is a classic example of Athonite architecture, while its original hagiographies were painted based on the Cretan School.
The phiale of the Holy Water and the belfry are works of the 19th century.
In the possession of the Monastery are 18 Cells and the beautiful hermitage of Saint Panteleimon (1790) with 22 Huts. The wood-carved iconostasis is of particular artistic value.
The Holy Monastery of Koutloumousi has 7 chapels inside the monastery field and 7 chapels outside. In the chapel of Theotokos the Formidable Protection there is also the miraculous icon of the same name of the Virgin Mary "Formidable Protection". This image has remained untouched by the sweeping fires and protected the Monastery from pirate attacks.
The Library and the relics of Koutloumousi Monastery
Church utensils, sacred vestments and important portable icons are kept in the Holy Monastery of Koutloumousi. In addition, holy relics of many Saints are kept, such as Saint Gerasimos, Saint Panteleimon, Saint Anna, Gregory the Theologian and Saint Charalambous.
In the library are kept 662 manuscripts and about 3,500 printed books.
Contact with Monastery of Koutloumousi:
Phone: +30 23770 23226, +30 23770 23731