The Monastery of Saint Paul (tel. +30 377 61250)

The Monastery of Saint Paul It is dedicated to Christ the Saviour and is located on the west side of Mount Athos. Its existence first appears in documents of 972.

It occupies the fourteenth rank in the hierarchical order of the twenty Athonite monasteries. It is inhabited by 91 monks (1990) and is coenobitic (communal).

Today's katholikon was built between 1839-1844. Its special characteristic is its marble structure and the symmetry of its windows. Aside from the katholikon, the monastery has 17 chapels and a large tower that was erected in 1522.

Its library contains 495 manuscripts and 12,500 printed books. The monastery's most prized treasures are the portable icon of Virgin the Myrovlitissa (myrrh flowing), fragment of the True Cross and part of the gifts brought to baby Jesus by the Magi.

The Monastery of St Paul also has ownership of the New Skete with 25 kalyvae and 40 monks. The New Skete's main building houses 200 manuscripts.

© 1997 Macedonian Press Agency