Docheiariou
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The Holy Monastery of Docheiariou is the first monastery on the coast to which one comes when travelling by sea from Ouranoupoli to Dafni.

The Blessed Euthymius, a companion in asceticism of St Athanasius the Athonite and docheiares (manciple) of the Megiste Lavra Monastery, is reputed to have been its founder. In all probability, Euthymius founded a small monastery dedicated to St Nicholas near the port of Dafni in the second half of the 10th century, but in the early 11th century pirate raids drove some of the monks, together with the founder, to the Monastery's present site. A little later, the katholikon of the Monastery was dedicated to the Archangels. The position of Docheiariou in the hierarchy of the monasteries according to various Typika (observances) has varied; today it occupies tenth place.

In the difficult times of the 14th century, the Emperor John V Palaeologus and the Prince of Serbia Stefan Dushan helped the Monastery in a variety of ways. In the next century, Docheiariou passed through a period of decline, the only setback in its history, given that the Monastery has never suffered the damage caused by destructive fires. In the 16th century, the priest Georgios from Adrianople dedicated himself and all his possessions to the Monastery. At the same period, with the help of Alexander, Prince of Moldo-Wallachia and his wife, Roxandra, the property of the Monastery was recovered from the Turks. The 17th century saw the restoration of the tower of the Monastery, while in 1660 it was given the title of 'stavropegic'. Its bell-tower was built in the 18th century. At the time of the Greek Revolution, the Turks tortured its monks and carried off its treasures.

The present attractive and well-lit katholikon of Docheiariou is a 16th-century building with fine wall-paintings of the Cretan School. The richly-adorned sanctuary screen was constructed in 1783. The Monastery has 12 chapels, with four others outside its walls. The most important of these is that of Our Lady Gorgoipekoos, which contains the miracle-working icon of Our Lady of the same name.

The Monastery possesses a piece of the True Cross, relics of saints, sacred vessels, and vestments. Its library contains 545 manuscripts, 62 of which are on parchment, and more than 5,000 printed books. Today Docheiariou is the home of some 30 hard-working monks with an appreciation of the beautiful.



  
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