Konstamonitou Monastery (Athos)
The Monastery of Konstamonitou is one of twenty monasteries on the Mount Athos peninsula and is located on the southeastern side of the peninsula at an elevation of about 200 meters (650 feet) above the sea. It is twentieth in hierarchical rank among the monasteries. Having fallen in decline after a fire in the sixteenth century Konstamonitou was revived in the early nineteenth century.
Konstamonitou was founded in the tenth century by a monk named Konstamonites and developed with the aid of the Byzantine Roman emperors and Serbian princes. In the sixteenth century the monastery was seriously damaged by fire and did not recover for some time. A recovery began in the eighteenth century, and in early nineteenth century continued when the east wing of the monastery compound was built with a financial aid from Vassiliki Kondaxi who was the wife of the Turk Ali Pasha. Then, in mid nineteenth century the north wing was added, as well as thekatholikon, using money raised by two monks, Symeon of Stayira and Joseph of Xeropotamou Monastery.
In addition to the katholikon, which is dedicated to St. Stephen the First Martyr, there are eight chapels associated with the monastery. Of these, four are within the monastery, namely the chapels dedicated to Our Lady, St. Constantine, All Saints, and St. Nicholas. The chapels outside the monastery are those dedicated to the Archangels (located in the cemetery), Holy Trinity, Panagoudas, and Ss. Anthony and Nicholas (located at the port of Daphne).
The monastery library holds about 100 codices, as well as the icons of the Panagia Hodegetria Antiphonetria and of St. Stephen. Also, the miracle-working icon of Virgin Portaitissa located in the chapel of Our Lady. The iconostasis in the katholikon is made of Athenian marble.