St. Paul’s comes 14th in the hierarchy of the monasteries on Mount Athos. The monastery is located on the western foot of mount Athos in a distance of 20 minutes of walking from the sea. It is dedicated to the Presentation of the Christ.
The monastery has been destroyed many times by various causes and that’s why its buildings are of different periods. The Catholicon (i.e. the central church) was built just before the mid-19th century. The monastery owns twelve chapels, the most notable of which is St. George’s, which is decorated with frescoes of the Cretan school (1555). Two sketes are subordinate to the monastery: the New Skete and St. Demetrius’.
Many portable icons, artifacts, holy relics and sacred vessels are kept in the monastery. Among the various treasures and precious artifacts piously preserved by St. Paul’s monastery, the Holy Gifts offered to the Lord by the Three Magi after his birth and incarnation are with no doubt the most important. The Gifts consist as known of gold, frankincense and myrrh. The gold is in the form of 28 sedulously ornate flat plates in various shapes (parallelograms, trapezoids, polygons e.a.) sized ca. 5×7 cm.
Because the spiritual as well as the material, historical and archaeological value of the Holy Gifts is invaluable, they are thoroughly kept in the treasury of the monastery. They are for security reasons distributed into many reliquaries, and only a part of them is exhibited for veneration to the pilgrims of the monastery or taken outside the Mount Athos for blessing.
The library of the monastery holds 494 manuscripts and more than 12.500 books. Nowadays, a numerous fraternity inhabits the monastery.