The Monastery of Dionysiou (tel. +30 377 61250)

The Monastery of Dionysiou The monastery is built on the peninsula's south-western side and is dedicated to St John the Baptist. It was founded in the fourteenth century by Saint Dionysios of Korseos near Kastoria.

It occupies the fifth rank in the hierarchical order of the twenty Athonite monasteries. It is inhabited by 59 monks (1990) and is coenobitic (communal).

The katholikon of the monastery was built during 1537-1547 and its walls were painted during the same period. The church is cross-shaped, with a dome and surrounded by apses. The wall murals were painted by the Cretan Artist Tzortzis. Aside from the katholikon, the church also has many chapels.

The monastery's treasury is very rich in relics from various eras and also houses many chrysobulls, siggilia, etc. The bones of St Niphon, Patriarch of Constantinople, are displayed in a special crypt in the katholikon. The library is richly stocked and well-organised. It contains some 804 manuscript codices, theological, ecclesiastical or liturgical works. One manuscript is an illuminated thirteenth-century Gospel Book.

© 1997 Macedonian Press Agency