Karakallou Cloister

Monastery of Karakallo is 11th in the hierarchy of Mount Athos, like a small rectangular castle on the edge of a hill, in the middle of the forest.

There is no information about the founder of the monastery, although many wanted to attribute the foundation to the Roman Emperor Caracalla either to a monk Nicholas Caracallo. It was renovated in 1294 by Palaiologues Michael IV and Andronikos II and later by John IV.

The Katholikon was built in 1548, it was completed in 1563 and was painted in 1716, while the interior courtyard was built in 1750. The frescoes of the exonarhate were painted in 1763. There are 5 chapels inside the monastery and 2 outside its walls.

There are 279 manuscripts in the library where some of them date back to the Byzantine era. Of the 42 parchments , code no. 11 of Caracallo (10th-13th century)is of great value, 2,500 printed books and 1 functional scroll.

The sacristy of the monastery preserves pieces of Timios Xylo, sacred bones, golden vestments and functional utensils. Several icons are also secured, of which the most important is the icon of the Apostoles Peter and Paul to whom the Monastery of Caracallo is dedicated. The icon was painted by painter Konstantinos Paleokapas in 1540. Another important icon is the Twelve Apostoles, the work of Dionysios of Fourna in 1722, found in the Katholikon’s wood-carved iconostasis.

In the monastery is worth seeing the visitors with the frescoes and icons of Dionysius of Fourna (18th century), its historical library with its rare handwritten codes and, of course, the famous tower of the Monastery.

The monastery of Karakallou has five chapels in its enclosure: The chapel of Saint Ioannis of Eleimonas, Saint Ioashaff, the Annunciation, the Evaggelismos of the Virgin Mary, St. Gedeon, St. Anna in Pyrgos, St. Panteleimonas and Saint George in the Katholikon Kangarion. Also, the monastery of Karakalou has three chapels outside its enclosure: the chapel of Agia Paraskevi, Agii Theodoroi and that of the cemetery temple, dedicated to the Saints Pantes.

The Monastery has a set of 45 to 50 people.