Vatopedi Monastery (Athos)

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Holy Monastery of Vatopedi
Rank or attached monastery Second
Type of community Cenobitic Monastery
Founded 972 by Ss Athanasius, Nicholas and Antonius
Superior Elder Ephraim
Approx. size ~50 monks[1]
Location Northeast
Liturgical language(s) Greek
Music used Byzantine chant
Feastdays celebrated Annunciation

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 operates as a coenobium (a communal monastic community) monastery, [as of 1999] is inhabited by 80 monks and is second in hierarchical rank among the monasteries of the mountain.


Some sources associate the name of "Vatopedi" with the flora of the surrounding countryside (vatos = shrub, pedion = plain or ground);[2] 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).[3]

The monastery was founded in 972 AD by three monks: Athanasius, Nicholas, and Antonius, who were students of St. Anthanasius of Lavra. 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.

Main Buildings

  • 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 Trapeza
  • The Buzantine period clock tower
  • The North-east tower which houses the monastery library (10th-century)

Sketes of Vatopaidi

The Greek skete of St. Demetrius, near the main monastery, and the Russian skete of St. Andrew (Serri) in Karyes both belong to the Vatopedi Monastery.

Monastery Treasures

In addition to many relics, the monastery possesses a library of over 10,000 printed books and about 1,700 manuscripts.


There are a number of miracle working icons in the monastery. The most well known icons are:


External links