Iviron Cloister

The Holy Monastery of Iveron is 3rd in the class of Mount Athos, Greek, Covian and celebrates in the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. It is located on the northeastern side of the Athonite peninsula on a small bay.

It was founded in 980 by Ioannis Tornikios, Ivir, the ruler of the Iberian (Georgian) ruler and Byzantine general, in the place where the Clement Monastery once existed. After a period of decline, the monastery received great help from Byzantine rulers, Serbian kings, and rulers of Georgia.

As a monastic complex it is large and imposing. The entrance of Iberian monastery with the passageway is on the north side. In the eastern part of the courtyard is the Katholikon. Opposite the large bell tower and then the bank on one side and the library building on the other. The buildings of the courtyard are surrounded by wings that form a quadrangle, where there are the monk’s cells, the monastery’s administrative areas, the tower, the archontariki, the new vestibule-library-library and other auxiliary spaces. The Iviron monastery has 35 monks and 27 accessories. It was converted into a Parliamentary by a seal of the Ecumenical Patriarch Demetrios A.

The Iviron Monastery has 16 chapels. In the Katholikon there are two chapels with frescoes, Saint Nicholas and the Holy Archangels. There are preserved the remains of 165 saints and parts of the instruments used during the crucifixion of Christ. Next to the old entrance of the monastery is the chapel of Panagia Portaitissa with the miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary. The frescoes of its narthex are of 1774 and depict wise men and kings of antiquity. Also in the courtyard is the chapel of Timios Prodromos, built on the old katholikon of the Clement Monastery. Its present form dates back to 1710. The cemetery of the monastery Iviron is located north of the monastery and the church is celebrated in memory of Saint Athanasius patriarch of Alexandria.

The library of the Monastery is opposite the Catholic and is rich in philosophical, theological and historical manuscripts in Greek and Latin. It has approximately 2,000 handwritten codes of the 11th and 14th century – among them 123 parchments – and 5,000 printed volumes. It also features a parchment of the 8th-century Gospel, 31-year-old Gospels of the 12th-14th century and two 17th-century papers. There are also the valuable and irreplaceable Georgian manuscripts, and in particular a small illustrated code of John of Damascus, 13th century, which contains the epic poem “Barlaam and Joasaph”

The sacristy of the Iviron monastery is housed together with the library in the independent building opposite the Catholic. It is considered to be one of the most valued of Mount Athos. Treasures, chalices, churches, mitres, the eparchy of Patriarch Dionysios IV, the mantle of Patriarch Gregorios E, the imperial sac of the 15th century and other holy objects and relics are preserved. Also, imperial and patriarchal documents are kept, including the goldsmiths of the emperors Michael II Palaiologos and Ioannou St. Kantakouzenos.

Between the Catholic and the main entrance of the Monastery there is a chapel with the most important icon of the Monastery of Panagia Portaitissa. During the period of iconoclasm, when Emperor Theophilus reigned in the 9th c. who lived in Nice and was the owner of the image, was forced to fly the image to the sea to be saved from the disaster. The picture sailed to the shores of Mount Athos where Georgian hermit monk Gabriel found it in 1004 AD. After the monk’s death the abbot of the Iviron Monastery transferred the icon to the Monastery for security and placed it in the sanctuary of the temple. It is alsoworth seeing the chapel of the “Portaitissa”, where you can find the miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary of Portaitissa.