Foundation: 10th century
Founders: saint Xenophon
Dedication: to Saint George
Celebration April 23rd
The Holy Monastery of Xenophontos has impressive buildings and a majestic katholikon; it is located at the luxurious western coast of the peninsula of Mount Athos, between the monasteries of Docheiariou and Saint Panteleimon. The foundation of the Monastery is first mentioned in 998 AD, although, according to the tradition, the first settlements appear in the 6th century. The first Katholikon of the Monastery was built when the miracle-working icon of Saint George the Trophybearer arrived; so, the Holy Monastery of Xenophontos was dedicated to Saint George, whose memory is commemorated on April 23rd. From the 10th to the 18th century the Monastery was attacked by pirates, ravaged and destroyed. In the 18th century there was a bloom again. The destroyed buildings were rebuilt and a new Katholikon was constructed, which today is the largest of all the Katholika at Mount Athos. So, the Monastery today has two Katholika. The old Katholikon is located at the southern part of the old precinct (10th century), near the entrance, and the new Katholikon is located at the northern part of the new precinct (1817-1838).
The main church of the old Katholikon is mounted on four marble columns with beautiful capitals. The wood-carved iconostasis of the church is one of the oldest ones and has a rich decoration. The marble Byzantine iconostasis behind the wood-carved (11th century), the marble floor (11th century) and frescoes of the church, lite (inner narthex) and outer narthex (1545-1630) are also remarkable.
In the old katholikon, on the right of the sanctuary there is the chapel of Saint Demetrios, which is the oldest building of the Monastery. In the chapel there are frescoes of the 14th century and a unique part of a wooden-carved Byzantine iconostasis recognized at Mount Athos.
The new Katholikon is a majestic building and the most spacious of all churches at Mount Athos (hospitality for 2000 people). Its iconostasis and Holy Altar are made of marble from Tinos and Mount Athos. The sanctuary and main Church have frescoes. Remarkable portable icons, like the two mosaics of Saint George and Demetrios (11th century) and the historical icon of the Virgin Hodegetria (she who shows the way), are kept in the Monastery.
Inside the Monastery there are eight chapels, four of which are frescoed. In the old katholikon there are the chapels of Saint Demetrios and Saint Lazaros while in the wings there are the chapels of Saint John the Theologian, Saint Stephen, Presentation of the Virgin and athonite fathers. Outside the Monastery there are four chapels. The skete of the Annunciation or skete of Xenophontos belongs to the Monastery.
Millenium 998-1998 - Holy Monastery of Xenophontos