Iviron Monastery

Mount Athos Attraction

Third in hierarchy this impressive monastery hosts numerous invaluable relics and pieces of ecclesiastical art and other religious treasures.

Iviron monastery is the third in the hierarchy of all monasteries in Mount Athos and is located on the northeast side of the peninsula. It was founded in 980 AD by the monk Ioannis Tournikios and his fellowship, who all came from the monastery of Megisti Lavra. They were originally from Iviria, a region now in Georgia, and for this reason, the monastery received its name.

During its long history, the monastery was attacked several times by pirates and suffered severe damages by the attacks of Franks, especially the one in 1259 AD. As a result, the monastery came to a decline and had numerous financial problems, especially at the beginning of the 15th century. In the years that followed, Georgian and Romanian leaders donated money to the monastery helping it to recover. Those gestures resulted to bloom in works of art and a long period of prosperity.

Unfortunately this ended suddenly in 1865 when a fire destroyed the biggest part of the monastery apart from the library and the main church. After that, a large restoration project started that led to an impressive monastery complex with four wings. This was including the monk cells, a huge belfry, a defensive tower, and a series of buildings that house the library, the sacristy, the reception hall, as well as many other auxiliary rooms and halls.

The guests have the opportunity to admire a large number of murals from the 16th century and the miraculous icon of Panagia Portaetissa. There are also many hand scripts from the Byzantine era, golden seals of Byzantine emperors, sacred garments, and many other interesting elements that reveal many details of the everyday life in a monastery.

The last years 35 monks live permanently in the monastery that can be reached by car from Karyes, the capital of Agion Oros, as well as from the sea.

About Iviron Monastery

Last updated: 29 Dec 2020

address Moni Iviron, Mount Athos, 630 86, Greece
nearby transportation
  • Dafni (Mount Athos) Port ≈ 8.9km