Byzantine Temple of The Protatus in Karyes

Apart from the monastic complexes of Mount Athos, there is also the village of Karyes, which is also the capital of the monastic state. All the buildings in Karyes belong to the twenty monasteries. Among these numerous cells, many of which are frescoed, the Delegation of the nineteen of the twenty monasteries is also included.

In the center of the settlement is the famous temple of the Protatus, which was named because it is the seat of the Protestant (First). The temple dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin is the most precious of all the Catholics of Mount Athos. In its original form, which dates back to the 10th century, it was a three-aisled basilica with a raised luminaire. Its present form is the result of successive interventions and renovations, with the greatest of Osios Athanasios of Athonite (before the middle of the 10th century). Typologically belongs to the three-aisled basilica with a transverse aisle, thus forming “dances”.

The Protoss Temple preserves an exceptional set of wall paintings representative of the flowering of monumental painting observed on Mount at the end of the 13th and early 14th. On the surfaces of the walls of the temple the decoration is arranged in four successive zones. In the upper and lower zones are represented whole-body forms of forefathers, prophets and military saints. In the two intermediate and wider zones are depicted, without separating tapes, evangelical scenes and scenes from the life of the Virgin Mary. Among these scenes are the Evangelists. Mural paintings of the Enchan Theotokos and the Enronous Christ adorn the two great temples in front of the sanctuary. The holy step is mainly represented by holy saints. The fresco painting of the Protaton, which was probably executed during the first patriarchy of Athanasios I (1289-93, 1305-10), is attributed according to the Interpretation of Art of Dionysios of Fourna of the 18th century. the mythical painter Manuel Panselinos from Thessaloniki, unknown from other sources. The kinship of the frescoes of the Protatus with the frescoes of the chapel of St. Efthymius in the basilica of Saint Demetrius, dating back to 1303, enhance their performance in an art workshop in Thessaloniki.