Monastery Stavronikita

Founded: End of 10th century
Founder: Monks Stavros and Nikitas
Feast-day: 6th of December
Library: Rare illuminated manuscripts. Particularly No. 43 of the 10th century
Collection: The portable icons of "The Dodecaorton"


The Monastery Stavronikita is located on the NE coast, in between the most remote Monasteries of M. Lavras and Esfigmenou. Even though "small in every sense" its wellshaped figure and elegant architecture stands out on the edge of a rock.A castle proud and at the same time enclosed .All its needs had to be economised in the closed and narrow space. However, it does not have the feeling of being crowded , because the Monastery "opens up " with a rich view , towards the sea from the balconies and towards the mountainsides from its wide hospitable courtyard.

The existence of a small abbey with the name "Stravonikita" is certified in the beginning of the 11th century, while with the name "Stavroanikitou", from which the name"Stavronikita" prevailed, it is presented during the mid 12th century. After that a period of disappearance not unreasonable follows if you consider the unfavourable conditions during the Frago Occupation and the raids against the coastal, in particular, monasteries. Deserted by its monks, it devolved and was granted over to the jurisdiction of the Protos ,as it was normal then .He in turn undertook maintainance in 1287.Its tower,as everyone knows ,was extremely essential for the safety of Karies and inner land.

Its historical flow can be better accounted for from after the 16th century. In 1533, the monk Grigorios (who had been an abbot in the monastery of Giromeriou in Thespotia) bought from the Abbey Filotheou "since ancient times" an absolutely ruined building. The work of rectification, however, with which he occupied himself with , was not completed because of his death in 1538. But also a fire that burst out,completely ruined all the buildings.

After that the Mount Athos sinaxis turned to the Patriarch Ieremia and requested him to undertake the role of the new keeper . This was answered with a lot of zeal.

Written testimonies that are associated with the building history of this Abbey,inform us of the following: in 1607 a fire burst out which destroyed the buildings of the Abbey. Immediate action was undertaken for the repairing and the re-establishment. In 1627-1628 renovation took place in the catholic, according to a sign. In 1630 authorisation was given by the Turkish administration for the construction of enclose walls. In 1667 the chapel dedicated to the Archangels was built. During the reign of the Vlahian sovereign Serban Kantakouzinou {1679-1688) and with his own financing, the Abbey's aqueduct was built . Various work was executed with the income of the Abbey of Saint Apostles in Bucharest, which was handed over to the Abbey of Stavronikita by the Vlahian souvereign Alexandros Gikas (1727-1740).

In 1741, according to handwritten remembrance, the Monastery "was burnt", while in 1743 it the alter of the catholic was built. In 1770 and according to a sign, the dining room is renovated. During the period of the Greek revolution the monks abandon the Abbey, in order to to rescue themselves and only to return in 1830, when they commit themselves to the effort of re-establishment of the damage and to the construction of new buildings. Only after the second half of the 19th century the Abbey is affected three times by fire. The one in 1879 was perhaps the worst . Today a huge project is taking place in order to strengthen the big rock on which the abbey was built .