Konstamonitou Cloister

The Monastery of Konstamonitou is 20th in the hierarchy of Mount Athos. The Monastery has 45 people.In this monastery is worth seeing the icon of  Virgin Mary of Odigitria as well as the frescoes in the chapel of Panaghia, dating back in 1670.

It is considered to be a lonely monastery in the craggy forest of Kreiovounio, approximately in the center of the peninsula. The monastery is one hour uphill from its archery.It is not easily connected with other monasteries. There are paths for the Zografou Monastery or the Vatopedi Monastery. The walk for Zografou Monastery lasts about 1.5 hours.

It was probably founded  by the emperor Constantine the Great and was completed by Constantine’s son, or by a monk who was descended from Kastamonas Paphlagonias or Kastamonis of Pontus ,who was from a wealthy family of Constantinople. With the silence of Patriarch Neophytos Z (1789-94 and 1798-1801), it became communal, but its substantial reconstruction began in 1818 on Chrysanthou of Epirus, at the expense of Ali Pasha, through the intervention of Mrs. Vasiliki, when her eastern wing was rebuilt .

This reconstruction continued with Simeon Stagariitis, who sponsored the reconstruction of Katholikon and the north wing. The “Katholikon” of the monastery of Kostamonitou is dedicated to the memory of St. Stephen. It was built in 1867 through the ruins of the older Catholic and is located in the middle of the courtyard. His typology generally follows the Mount Athos type. It forms eight external domes, along with the central dome that is the largest. It is characterized by the elaborate construction of its stone-built walls. There are  many icons, several of which are of great historical and worshiping value, such as the Virgin Mary of Antigonitria who achieved a miracle at the monastery according to tradition in 1020.

The Katholikon holds a Byzantine cross of fine art, a piece of wood, pieces of relics of many saints in reliquaries. Also a silver-plated gospel made in 1820 in Ipiros by Mrs. Vasiliki. The cloister of Kostamonitou has nine chapels, four inside the monastery  and five outside it.

In the southern wing of the monastery above the entrance there is the chapel of Panagia Portaitissa which was built in 1871. It has a characteristic wood-carved icon screen, which hosts the miraculous icon of Panagia Portaitissa.

On the south-eastern wing floor is the chapel of Agioi Pantes. On another floor, there is the largest chapel of St. Constantine. It was used as a Catholic during the construction of the monastery’s Katholikon, in the middle of the 19th century. On the northern side of there is the chapel of St. Nicholas.

Outside the monastery is the chapel of Panagouda with remarkable Byzantine frescoes. In the old monastery is located the chapel of Agios Antonios with a beautiful wooden iconostasis from 1670. The chape of  Agia Triada is in a prominent place, Agios Nikolaos’ chapel is located in arsana of the monastery, while the ninth chapel is that of its cemetery.

The Cemetery Temple of Kostamonitou Monastery is dedicated to the memory of Archangels Michael and Gabriel. It is located southeast of the monastery. The monastery of Kostamonitou has a cell in Karyes, which is also the delegation dedicated to Agioi Pateres, as well as two Kathismata in the wider area of ​​the monastery. The first Kathisma of the Agia Triada, lies to the west of the monastery in a prominent position with excellent view ofthe sea. It was built in 1894. The chapel of the  Kathisma is separated from its  habitable parts. Today it is not inhabited due to its deterioration from time to time. The second Kathisma is that of the old mill. It is located opposite the entrance of the monastery and its habitable spaces is on the first floor.