The Holy Monastery of Dionysiou

Monastery of Dionysiou

Mount Athos

The Holy Monastery of Dionysiou, stands on a narrow and precipitous rock at a height of 80 meters above the sea, at Mount Athos. The founder of the Monastery was the Macedonian Blessed Dionysius from Kastoria. Dionysius managed to build the Monastery in the second half of the 14th century. His effors were supported by the generous sponsorship of Alexius III Comnenus, Emperor of Trebizond. This policy of lavish sponsorship of the Monastery was continued by the Palaeologue Emperors and later by many Princes of Moldo-Wallachia.

Linked with the Dionysiou Monastery is the important figure of St Niphon, Patriarch of Constantinople, who became a monk of Dionysiou in the mid 15th century where he lived until his death. In 1539 a fire, reduced to ashes a large part of its buildings, which, however, were soon replaced and extended. The katholikon of the Monastery was built at the same time as the Monastery. Its wall-paintings are the work of a representative of the Cretan School, Tzortzis, dating from around 1546. Dionysiou possesses the famous icon known as Our Lady of the Akathistos Hymn, 1100 mannuscripts and more than 15000 books.