Vatopedi Monastery (Athos)
|Holy Monastery of Vatopedi|
|Rank or attached monastery||Second|
|Type of community||Cenobitic Monastery|
|Founded||972 by Ss Athanasius, Nicholas and Antonius|
|Approx. size||~50 monks|
|Music used||Byzantine chant|
The Monastery of Vatopedi is one of twenty monasteries on the Mount Athos peninsula and is located on the northeastern side of the peninsula. It is second in hierarchical rank among the monasteries. Some sources associate the name of "Vatopedi" with the flora of the surrounding countryside (vatos = shrub, pedion = plain or ground); others point to a traditional story in which Emperor Arcadius built the monastery to honor the saving of his son from shipwreck by the Theotokos; the child was found in a bush (vato = brier, paidi = child).
The monastery was founded in 972 by three monks: Athanasius, Nicholas, and Antonius, who were students of St. Anthanasius of Lavra. It operates as a coenobium (a monastic community). The major parts of the monastery were constructed either during the Byzantine period or later, during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, when building reached its peak. The monastery is monumental in size, with a tall wall in which the buildings are placed in triangular form.
The katholikon was built in the tenth century in the Athonite style. It is dedicated to the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The katholikon still retains some mosaics from the Byzantine period. There are nineteen chapels in and around the monastery proper, with five within the katholikon. The Greek skete of St. Demetrius and the Russian skete of St. Andrew (Serri) belong to Vatopedi.
In addition to many relics, the monastery possesses a library of over 10,000 printed books and about 1,700 manuscripts.