Saint Panteleimon’s Cloister

The monastery of Agios Panteleimonos, better known as the Russian monastery, is a huge and imposing building complex. The monastery was established in this place in 1765. The oldest building complex dates back in 11th century  where  many Russian monks started to flock in 1840, who in the late 19th century got over 1000 people. Indeed, since 1875 they have been able to elect a Russian abbot. With the brave sponsorships of the Russian Tsars and the ruler of the Moldavian Skarlatos Kalimafchi, the huge building complex, the many and great chapels were built and all decorated with gold and silver. But the fall of Tsarist Russia led the monastery to decline. However, new monks from Russia and the other Russian-speaking countries are coming to St. Panteleimon in recent years.

All the buildings are examples of Russian architecture and are decorated with frescoes of the 19th century Russian painting school. The katholikon is dedicated to Saint Panteleimon. It was built in 1812-1821 and follows the form and typical of the temple of Athon. Apart from the central church there are the large chapels of the Koimiseos of the Virgin Mary, the Saint Mitrophanis and the Analipseos of the Lord, the five-storey building of the monks’ cells.

The Trapeza was built in 1890 and was painted in 1897. It is located directly opposite of the katholikon, which can serve at the same time almost 1000 people. Above the entrance of the Trapeza is the bell tower. An imposing building with 32 bells. The largest is located on the first floor and is the second largest in the world. It has a diameter of nearly 3 meters, weighs 13 tons and when it sounds it sounds up to Polygyros, 70 km away.

Unlike the rest of the monasteries, Theia Leitourgia does not take place in the Catholic, but in the chapel of Saint Skepis. This is because, according to the Typical of the monastery, Theia Leitourgia takes place in the Catholic in Greek and Russian in rotation, while in all other chapels only in Russian.

The monastery holds the ninth place among the monasteries and is inhabited by 67 monks (2001). Parts of the monastery are the Skiti of Bogoroditsa, Metochi Chromitsa, Nea Thiva and Gournoskites, and Palaiomonastero.