The Holy Monastery of Dionysiou

The Holy Monastery of Dionysiou, or ‘Nea Petra’, stands on a narrow and precipitous rock at a height of 80 meters above the sea, between the Gregoriou and Aghiou Pavlou Monasteries. The founder of the Monastery was the Saint Dionysius from Korysos near Kastoria. Dionysius, with much toil and in the face of many difficulties, managed to gather the resources to build the Monastery shortly after 1370.

His efforts were supported by the generous sponsorship of Alexius III Comnenus, Emperor of Trebizond, who was encouraged in this by the Metropolitan of the city, Theodosius, who was Dionysiou’s brother. This policy of lavish sponsorship of the Monastery was continued by the Palaeologue Emperors and later by many Princes of Moldo-Wallachia.

The katholikon of the Monastery, dedicated to the Nativity of St John the Baptist, was built at the same time as the Monastery, but was ruined by a fire in 1534. The church which replaced it was built immediately after 1540. Of particular note are the wall-paintings of the Apocalypse, the oldest complete portrayal of the Apocalypse in the Orthodox world.

 

Here the monastery is to be seen in a stunning landscape with the Athos peak abruptly rising in the near background at 2033 m.