Stavronikita Cloister

The monastery of Stavronikita is the youngest and smaller monastery of Mount Athos. It is fifteen minutes from Karyes by bus and an hour from Pantokratoros monastery through a coastal path. The monastery was built in the early 16th under the Ottoman Empire, without the financial support from Christian rulers. Without much property it never experienced a period of great prosperity and was repeatedly destroyed by a fire (1817, 1864, 1879).

The building is small with a fortress, founded on the edge of a rock. Because the rock is loose, extensive support works, both of the monastery and of the rock, are being carried out. The interior space is limited, so there is hardly any room around the Katholikon. The Katholikon itself is small but decorated with frescoes by the famous painter of Cretan School ,Theophanis Strylitsas. It was built in 1517-1536 and is dedicated to Agios Nikolaos. The bank is located on the first floor of the southern wing and is frescoed by representatives of the Cretan School.

In the library there are kept 170 manuscripts and several thousands of printed book. In the sacristy there are kept holy relics of saints, functional vessels and crosses. The monastery occupies the fifteenth place in the hierarchy of the monasteries and lives 42 monks (2001). The most important work of art in the temple of the Stavronikita Monastery is the mosaic icon of St. Nicholas of the 14th century, which is said to have been on the seabed for 500 years.