Monastery Koutloumousiou

Founded: 11th century
Founder: Blessed Koutloumousis
Feast-day: 6th of August
Library: 756 manuscripts
Collection: Icon-chest of ancient portable icons 


The monastery of Koutloumousiou is founded next to Karies ,on the edge of a small valley that opens facing the sea, and surrounded by forest mountainsides.For the foundation and the strange name that it has, various opinions have been formulated but without general acceptance. In a document of 1329, from the then Protos of Mount Athos,a statement stands out refering to the monastery with the following words "everything excellent and he is a good Koutloumousis and an abbot who always stands out ".This however cannot be considered as a reference to the founder of this monastery as another document from the monastery of Saint Panteleimonos in 1169 was signed by the abbot of the Koutloumousiou Monastery, Isaias. So this alone proves that the monastery existed before then . Several historians consider it likely that it first appeared in the 11th century. In any case,as far as foundation goes ,and according to P. Ouspenski, most of the history available is mostly based upon guesses,and remains unproved.

Like other abbeys, when it was first built, it was very small and was enlarged and fortified later, in the 14th century. The contribution of the abbot of Haritonos (who was also an Ouggrovlahian Metropolitan bishop) for its protection against raids, is memorable: He travelled seven times under unfavourable conditions to the paradounavian areas for the discovery of resources so that : "...castle is built within the monastery ...". Thus,during this period , the Monastery was legitimately named "the Haritonos". In 1393 the patriarch Antonios rewarded the conscientious efforts and nominated the Abbey as patriatric and under the Patriarch's juridiction.

The souvereigns of the countries we mentioned before, continued efforts of strengthening during all the 15th century . At the turning-point of the 15th to the 16th century,Radoulos the Great (1496-1508) volunteered with generous offers to repair the buildings of the Abbey that suffered damage from the devastating fire in 1497, so that by his death the NW department had been completed , and after his death the defensive tower began to be built.

Separate interest showed Neagoe Basarab (1512-1521). As we can see from the biogaraphy of the Life of Patriarch Nifonos: "...complete reconstruction in and out of this monastery ... and enclose it within walls ...". Apart from the big fire in 1497, other fires were reported in 1767,.1856,.1870 and the last just a few years back in 1979, what in combination with the soft soil surface in the region, contributed to the increase of frequent successive renovations this Abbey has needed.