Monastery of Vatopedi

Monastery of Vatopedi

The Holy and Great Monastery of Vatopedi was built during the second half of the 10th century, by three monks, Athanasius, Nicholas, and Antonius from Adrianople, who were the pupils of Athanasius the Athonite. Although tradition says that it was built by Eastern Roman Emperor Arcadius to honour the miraculous salvation by the Virgin Mary of his son from a shipwreck. The child is said to have been found in a brier bush--hence Vato (brier) Paidi (child).

From then onwards several buildings have been constructed, the oldest of which were built during the Byzantine period and during the 18th and 19th centuries when the monastery reached its highest peak.

About 50 monks live in the monastery today, where extensive construction projects are underway to restore the larger buildings.

It is closed for public view but is open for scientists from all over the world with the permission of the monastery and the 10th Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities.

David and the Lion, Psalter, 11th century
Vatopedi Monastery, ms. cod. 761m f1 1v.

Harvest. Vatopedi Monastery, cod. 602, fol. 415v (13th century)

Agios Nikolaos (Metochi of monastery of Vatopedi), Porto Lagos,

Sketes attached to Vatopedi

The following large Sketes are attached to Vatopedi include the Skete of Saint Andrew in Karyes and the Skete of Saint Demetrius near the main monastery.


Main buidlings within the walls of the monastery

  • The Katholikon, dedicated to the Annunciation of the Theotokos
  • The Trapeza
  • The Byzantine period clock tower
  • The 10th century NE tower which now houses the monastery's library

Treasures held within the monastery

The Monastery of Vatopedi is blessed to have the actual Belt of the Virgin Mary, "H Zoni ths Theotokou", which she wore on earth and gave to Thomas the Apostle after her death and during her transition to heaven. The monastery also contains the Iaspis, a jasper communion cup fashioned of a single piece of the precious stone, and various other icons.


Miracle working icons within the monastery

There are a number of miracle working icons in the monastery. One of the most well-known is the icon of Panagia ("Pantanassa", or the "Queen of All"), which works many miracles, especially in the cure of cancer. A copy was made and sent to Russia where it also works many miracles.

Abbot of Holy Monastery of Vatopedi Athos, Archimandrite Father Ephrem.

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