Monastery Iviron

Founded: End of 10th century
Founder: Iviras Ioannis, Efthimios
Feast-day: 15th of August
Library: 2.000 manuscripts
Collection: The icons of the old iconostasis


The Monastery Iviron was founded on the NE coast of the peninsula, in the middle of small coastal valley that unfolds in between a big torrent and a graphic hill slope. The Iviros monks before building their own monastery first appear living in the monastery of Megisitis Lavras during the reign of the king Nikiforos Fokas (963-969). A little later they constituted a particular "escort" with head monk Ioannis the Iviron and moved into a neighboring cell. This "escort" member Ioannis Tornikios, a former general of Ivirias, accepts this move as a repression of mutiny in the Byzantine state. After the successful result of military confrontation, his emperor Vasilios the 2nd provides rich gifts of remuneration and sets down the law (979/80), in which, apart from other gifts, he also grants the Abbey Klimentos to them. This Abbey which was found in the place of the current Abbey of Iviron, first appears as an Iberian fraternity, maintaining her initial name until 1015. The opinion that Ioannis the Iviras and Tornikios is the same person still exists.

During the mid 10th century the Abbey possesses among others the Monastery of Poligiros (or Pteleotou) in Halkidiki, while in the 11th century, with a law, Micheal of Paflagonos the 4th, restores her sovereign rights in her older belongings. During the period of the Frago Occupation (13th century) after many piratical raids, the "proud abbey" ended up as a space deserted and inhuman...» therefore the Byzantine king Micheal Paleologos the 1st proceeds in 1259 with the law of the reestablishment of possessions and its rights and exemption from taxation. Particular interest showed also his successor, Andronikos the 2nd.

During the mid 14th century after the meeting of the Arch bishops, the performance of the divine services in the catholic are established in the Greek language and a Greek abbot is appointed. During the Ottoman domination it was supported with subscriptions by the sovereigns of Ivirias (Gorgoranis, Kaihosrois in the 15th century, Alexandros the 6th in the 16th century) and others. Sovereigns of the Paradounavion countries such as Neagoe Basarab in the 16th century as well as the Archbishop Dionisios G Vardalis in the J7th century also assisted this monastery. In 1821 the Abbey offered a lot of assistance towards the aid of fighting.

The tarsana tower gives one a glimpse of what to expect from the rest of the monastery. The imposing new classical style of it welcomes the pilgrim and directs him precisely north towards a spacious courtyard between the catholic left and the central group of buildings dining room and cells right. The Catholic and the dining room are found facing each other. The Abbey of Iviron is also known as the Abbey of Portaitissa. This icon of the Virgin Mary constitutes major adoration within the whole monastic republic and is safe kept in a special temple near the entrance of the monastery.