According to tradition, Barlaam’s monastery was inhabited by the hermit Barlaam in the 14th century. It was founded in 1518, when the brothers Ss Theophanes and Nectarios, known as Apsarades, coming from Ioannina, settled there.
The majestic Athonite-styled Catholicon, dedicated to All Saints, was built in 1542. The nave was decorated in 1548 by the Theban painter Frankos Catelanos. The narthex was decorated in 1566 by the Theban brothers and painters George and Frankos Contaris.
The Chapel of the Three Hierarchs is a small single-aisled basilica, built in 1627 and decorated in 1637 with murals that are characteristic of post-Byzantine iconography painting style of the first half of the 17th century.
The access to the monastery was faciitated with scaffolding that was later replaced with long rope ladders and the net, which is used even today for the transportation of food and maintenance materials.
In 1923 the monks carved into the rock 195 steps that today lead safely to the top of the rock.
In the sacristy museum, which has been repaired during the last years, there are 290 valuable manuscripts, holy relics, post-byzantine icons, gold-embroidered vestments; striking is the Epitaph, a brocade in green velvet, work of 1609. Barlaam’s also owns many rare incunabula.
This is the monastery, where Christodoulos, the late Archbishop of Athens (+2008) began his monastic life.