St. Panteleimon's Monastery (Athos)

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The St. Panteleimon’s Monastery is one of the twenty monasteries located on the peninsula of Mount Athos in northeastern Greece. The monastery is on southwestern side of the peninsula. The monastery has been inhabited for the past two hundreds plus years by monks of Russian origin and is referred to often as the Russian monastery. The monastery is ranked nineteen in the hierarchical order among the twenty monasteries on Mount Athos. The monks live in a coenobitic life. The monastery feast day is that of St. Panteleimon, July 27.

A monastery has existed for nearly thousand years near the site of the present monastery, with the original buildings dating back to the eleventh century. The monastery was rebuilt after a fire during the thirteenth century with financial support from Emperor Andronicus Paleolgus and Serbian rulers. The monastery experienced cyclic periods economic prosperity and recession. Both Greek and Russian monks occupied the monastery over the centuries with the population strength alternating between them. Since 1875 the Russians have been the dominant ethnics. In 1875 a decree was imposed that the services held in the katholikon must be chanted in both Greek and Russian. At its height in 1903 over 1440 monks lived in the monastery.

The existing monastery is of fairly recent origin, with its construction at the present site on an inlet of the Sinigitic Gulf beginning in 1765. Construction of the present katholikon began in 1812 and was completed in 1821. It was dedicated to St. Panteleimon and is built in the style of the other Athonite churches.

The monastery possesses a number of other properties, including fifteen chapels, five kellia, the Chromitsa metochion, the Bogoroditsa skete, Nea Thebais, and three other sketes. With its many storied buildings and tall cupolas on the churches, the monastery appears to be a small city. One wing of the monastery was destroyed by a fire in 1968.

The treasures of Panteleimon are mainly of Russian style. These include numerous portable icons, various vestments, crosses, pectorals, chalices, and Gospels.

The monastery library consist of over 20,000 printed books, in both Greek and Russian. There are over 1,920 manuscripts in the Greek and Slavic languages.


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