The Chilandari Monastery is a Serbian monastery located on the northeastern side of Mount Athos and is the fourth in the hierarchy of Mount Athos. It has an exterior appearance of a medieval castle, as it is fortified with walls that are 30 meters high, 140 meters long and surround a 75 meters wide area. The monastery took this form because of frequent pirate raids in the past. It is considered to be the most important center of Serbian culture. It retains an extremely rich collection of original old manuscripts, icons, frescoes, so that today it is considered one of the most important treasures of the Serbian medieval civilization in general. It is on the UNESCO World Heritage list since 1988, along with 19 other Monasteries of Mount Athos.
Hermit Gregory Helandaris around 980 built a small church and a home for himself and for some monks in the place where the Monastery is today. Her subsequent founders are also the Serbian kings Ratsko and Stefano A Nemanja who previously lived in the Monastery of Vatopedi and received the names Aghios Savvas and Agios Simeon (12th century) .The monastery flourished during the 13th and 14th centuries and during the middle ages 16th century bloomed a school of Serbian literature but later began to decline in the 17th century.
The library of the monastery contains 700 manuscripts of Slavic and 100 Greek, 25 parchment Slavic and 27 Greek, 7 parchment scrolls, of which 2 Greek, 6,600 of which 1,000 Greek. It also contains more than 400 stamps and papers, including golden-by-the-Byzantine emperors and a vast and important collection of Serbian literature of past centuries.
Among the precious heirlooms and votive offerings there are five precious stones with characteristics of 12th century Virgin Mary, Christ and St. Demetrius, and 2 carved wooden crosses containing pieces of Timios Stavros.
The icon of Panagia Tricherosa that is located in the Monastery originally belonged to the family of Ioannis Damaskinos. The Virgin Mary is celebrated as Abbot since the monks tried to place the icon of Virgin Mary Tricherousa on the iconostasis of the Katholikon, and after that the icon disappeared and reappeared on the throne of the abbot. The miracle happened three times, and the monks accepted it by faith and devotion by giving their “Abbot” the place they were asking for.
The Monastery has a set of 70 people.