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Agion Oros
Holy Monastery of Esfigmenos

The Holy Monastery of Esfigmenos is a seaside monastery on the eastern shores of the Athonite peninsula. It consists of a rectangular enclosure, which creates a relatively spacious courtyard. In the center is the katholikon and around the perimeter are the wings with the cells of the fathers, the places of hospitality, and the bank. The church of the Monastery is dedicated to the Ascension of the Lord, while at the same time there are 8 internal chapels and 7 external chapels.

With the name Monastery of Esfigmenos, there was already a monastery from the 10th century, which was deserted many times by pirate raids, as the location of the building made it vulnerable. The katholikon was built in 1810 on the site of an older church that was demolished, while the frescoes were painted by Galatsan painters in 1811 and 1818. The oldest building of the monastery is the altar, which preserves frescoes of the 16th and 17th centuries.

The monastery has an outstanding collection of Byzantine and post-Byzantine icons, while the library, where one climbs a narrow spiral staircase, contains 372 manuscripts, of which 75 are parchments and some illustrated, including the most important Minologio, under No. 14, with its 80 miniatures. There are still about 2,000 printed books here, while more than 7,000 are kept elsewhere, on the second floor of the north side of the Monastery.

The relics of the Monastery include crosses, bays, sacred vestments, liturgical utensils, and other objects. Also, a large piece (3.05 X 2.80) from the stage of Napoleon the Great, a gift from Patriarch Gregory V to the Monastery. In the Holy Step is the founding cross of the Empress Poulcheria, relics and many pieces of relics of saints, as well as a very important Byzantine mosaic icon, small dimensions (0.15 X 0.07), which depicts Christ in full body and frontal position. , blessing with his right hand and holding the Gospel in his left hand.

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