The Patriarchal Vlatadon Monastery, which is located at Ano Poli (North City) of Thessaloniki, is the chief Byzantine Monastery of the city. It is still in use and it offers the visitor a spectacular view of Thermaikos bay in Thessaloniki.
Today, the Monastery is famous for the Patriarchal Institution of Studies that pertain to the fathers of the Church. This Institution was built by the Ecumenical Patriarch Athinagoras and it is the Theological, Scientific Institution of the Ecumenical Patriarchate with an important Library.
The Monastery must have been founded immediately after the enthronement of Saint Grigorios Palamas, when his disciples, the priest-monks Dorotheos and Markos Vlatis (from whom the name Vlatadon was given to the Monastery), who had Cretan origin and were born in Thessaloniki, settled in Thessaloniki, probably in 1351. The Monastery is dedicated to the Metamorphosis (Transfiguration) of Jesus Christ, because of the theological words about the unbuilt light of Metamorphosis (Transfiguration), as spoken by their master, Saint Grigorios.
The Empress, Anna Paleologina, had been a sponsor of the Monastery. After her husband’s, Andronikos III’s, death and the predominance of “Hesychasm”, whose leader was the Bishop of Thessaloniki Saint Grigorios Palamas, she settled in Thessaloniki. It was the time when the members of the Paleologos’ family worked enthusiastically in order to liven up the religious feeling of the people that played a role in their unity, which was necessary in order for them to be able to deal with severe dangers that threatened the Byzantine Empire.
In any case, the Catholicon existed before the founding of the Monastery since, during the recent restoration works (1983), wall paintings of the 11th century came into light. According to oral traditions, Apostolos Pavlos stayed or preached to the people of Thessaloniki in 51AD.
After the first conquest of Thessaloniki by the Turks in 1387, the Catholicon was transformed into a mosque, while, after its second conquest, in 1430, the Monastery was let to operate normally as an orthodox monastic institution during Turkish occupation.
In the sacristy of the Monastery, there are holy relics of Saints that are hoarded while, in separate cases there are three pieces of the Iero Potirio (Holy Glass) from the Last Supper of Jesus Christ. There are also a lot of portable icons and vessels of great artistic and historic value.
In the area of the Monastery, there is a wonderful garden with animals, and especially peacocks.
The Vlatadon Monastery is built at an elevation of 130m. It is visible from the center of Thessaloniki and its visitors can have a great panoramic view of the city from there.
The Monastery is easily accessible from the center of the city, through Agias Sofias street. Also, if you walk in the narrow streets of the Old City (Ano Poli), next to the Castles that are situated out of the Monastery, you will be transferred to another era. A bit southerner of the Monastery, there is another important pilgrimage, the historic Monastery of Latomon (or the Monastery of Osios David of Thessaloniki), which is famous for its rare mosaic.
Telephone number: 2310202301