St. Panteleimon Monastery (Greek: Άγιος Παντελεήμων, Aghios Panteleimon, better known as Ρωσσικόν, Rossikon), is a Russian Orthodox monastery on Mount Athos in Greece. It was founded by several Russian monks in the 11th century and was recognized as a separate monastery in 1167. During the Tatar yoke in Russia, most of the monks were Greeks and Serbs. Under the Ottoman domination of Greece, the monastery declined to the point that there were only two Russian and two Bulgarian monks left by 1730.
In 1765, the monastery was moved closer to the seashore and, patronized by Admiral Ushakov, the Moldovan Callimachis family and the Russian tsars, was completely rebuilt and expanded. By area and population, it became the largest cloister on the Holy Mount, sheltering 1446 monks in 1903 and more than 2000 by 1913. The Russikon was repeatedly gutted by fires, most famously in 1307 (when the Catalan pirates set it on fire) and in 1968. The first Russian leader to visit the monastery was President Putin (on September 9, 2005).
The cloister boasts a fine library of medieval manuscripts and quite a few priceless relics, such as the head of Saint Panteleimon, one of the most popular saints in Russia. The 19th-century monastery bells are said to be the largest in Greece.
View of the Rossikon.
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