The Touristic Info Halkidiki informs: Mount Athos - Monasteries and skites

Moni Xenofondos

Greek-orthodox, Holiday: April 23

The monastery is situated on the west coast of the peninsula and was founded around 983AD. It was named after the monk and priest Xenophon.

There are still several documents from the years 998AD to 1018AD, with his signature. He signed those documents from that time as "Xenophon, monk and abbot of the monastery of St. George." This is therefore the original name of the monastery and it is dedicated to St. George.

Xenofondos is the first monastery mentioned in the year 1035AD. The influence of the monastery on the Holy Mountain, grew enormously, in the middle of the 11th Century, initially by the former abbot of the monastery and the Protos of Athos, Byzantine dignitaries Gerasimos.

In 1078AD came the Grand Admiral Stephanos, who as a monk changed his name to Symeon. His contacts with the Byzantine emperor brought to the monastery benefit. But there was a pretty big scandal, because Symeon, was a eunuch. And such a thing was prohibited in the Holy Mountain.

Because the pressure on him was too big, Symeon left Athos in 1081AD. However, his aim was to remain the abbot of the monastery. In this matter, he was supported by the new Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos (1081AD-1118AD).

Another scandal happened, Symeon took three "beardless youths" as servants to stay with him on the Athos. But due to the fact that the former Protos of Athos brought a large sum of money the others "ignored" it.

After the 4th Crusade in 1204AD the monastery had a period of crisis, which ended in early mid-14th Century by the emperor's gift. Even in the 15th Century, the future of the monastery looked bleak. This time the rescue came from patrons from Romania.

But there was another crisis. The monastery had 55 monks in the year 1089AD, but there were only four in 1744AD.

The new main church of the monastery is the largest Greek Orthodox  church in Athos, and it features two mosaic icons of the 12th Century, showing the Holy Dimitrios and Georgios. A cycle of frescoes from the 16th Century is also interesting. The old Katholikon is still preserved and contains many paintings of the Cretan painter Antonio from the middle of the 16th Century.

The monastery was unfortunately the victim of numerous fires. Meanwhile it has been almost completely rebuilt.

The monastery’s subordinate is the Skit Evangelismu.

The "Deutsche Gramophone" published in 1996AD, a CD of liturgical music of the Holy Monastery.

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