Konstamonitou monastery – Holy Mount Athos
At an altitude of 200 meters, close to the southwestern shore of the monastic state, in a picturesque and verdant place to the west of Athos’s foothills lies the Konstamonitou monastery, which was founded in the 11th century.
In the early 14th century, Catalan raiders set the monastery alight, but soon it was reconstructed. In 1351, Emperor John V Palaeologus issued a golden bull decree that designated the borders of the monastery’s land. Empress Ana of Serbia in 1360 and Despot Đurađ Branković of Serbia in the late 1420s made significant donations to the monastery.
In the late 16th century, the monastery declined. In 1820, a part of the monastery was rebuilt, thanks to an endowment from Kyra Vassiliki, the last wife of Ali Pasha of Janina, while in 1853 two monks came from the Skete of the Annunciation, settled in the monastery and worked for its financial restoration. The Catholicon and a wing were reconstructed after fundraisers held in Russia. The Catholicon is dedicated to Saint Stephen the Protomartyr.
Among the treasures of the monastery are part of the True Cross, relics of the saints, portable icons, embroidered vestments, golden bulls, historical documents, items of worship etc.
Konstamonitou, despite being the last in the hierarchy of the twenty sovereign monasteries of Mount Athos, has recently experienced a spiritual growth, due to the multitudinous brotherhood established there.