Iviron Monastery

Iviron Monastery


Iviron Monastery

The monastery founded by Georgian (Iberian) monks.

The monastery founded by Georgian (Iberian) monks Iviron Monastery is located on the eastern coast of Mount Athos, in the middle of the Athos Peninsula. It was established as the "Monastery of Clementos" in the 8th century, and according to tradition, it is the area visited by the Virgin Mary accompanied by the Apostle John. In 980, it was expanded and developed into a monastery by a group of Georgian monks led by John Tornike. In honor of them, it was renamed "Iviron Monastery" in 1010, as the inhabitants of Georgia were called "Iberians" at that time.

In 1865, the monastery complex was destroyed, except for the Catholicon (main church) and the Library, despite the monastery experiencing a period of great prosperity. Plundering and financial problems had occurred throughout the centuries, although the monastery always managed to recover, providing assistance during the struggles of the Greek War of Independence in 1821.

The monastery is large and impressive in architectural composition. The Katholikon is located in the eastern part of the courtyard, and across of it is the large bell tower, along with the bank and the library. The library houses 33 manuscripts, 11,000 printed books, 2,300 handwritten codes with 223 parchment leaves in Greek and Georgian, and a total of 20,000 printed works.

Within the Catholicon's chapels, there are relics of 165 saints and parts of the instruments used in the crucifixion of Jesus. In the chapel of Panagia Portaitissa, there is an icon of the Theotokos (Virgin Mary) that appeared in the sea in 1004. The invaluable treasures kept in the treasury classify it as one of the most important on Mount Athos, containing gold-embroidered vestments, vessels, sacred relics, chalices, liturgical books, mitres, imperial and patriarchal documents with golden seals of Byzantine emperors.

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