The Monastery of Simonos Petras (tel. +30 377 61254)

The Monastery of Simonos Petras The monastery is located on the south-west shore of the Athos peninsula. It was built by Saint Simon in the beginning of the 14th century on a sheer cliff rising 230 meters above the sea.

It occupies thirteenth rank in the hierarchical order of the twenty Athonite monasteries. It is inhabited by 80 monks (1990) and is coenobitic (communal).

Its majestic building is seven-storeyed. It was thrice destroyed by fire, in the 14th and 17th centuries and in 1891. Most of the monastery's documents, books, liturgical vessels and chrysobulls were destroyed in the fire, while the most recent disaster burnt down the katholikon and the library.

The monastery's rebuilding began in 1891 aided by the generosity of the Russian Tsars. The katholikon maintains the Athonite architecture and contains certain parts of the old building. The monastery features four chapels inside its precinct and eight more outside.

The treasury and the library don't feature noteworthy treasures of the past due to the numerous disasters, but today's library is admirably organised and features modern books and periodical related to the sciences.

© 1997 Macedonian Press Agency