Megiste Lavra

Megiste Lavra

The Holy monastery of Megiste Lavra, occupies the first place in the history and hierarchy of the monasteries of Athos and its founder was St. Athanasius the Athonite. It was him who introduced the coenobitic system, which finally turned out to be the basic way of monastic life.

Nicephorus Phocas and later Ioannes Tsimiskes and Basil II the Macedonian supported him in the foundation of the first Monastery in 10th century. Megiste Lavra suffered from pirate raids in 14th century and from an earthquake in 1585. The burden of heavy taxation during the years of turkish rule contributed to its gradual decline.

The wall paintings of the katholikon were created by Theophanis of Crete. The Monastery has 17 chapels, a library with 2116 manuscripts, 20000 printed books and valuable historical treasures.