The Holy Monastery of Xeropotamou

The Monastery of Xeropotamou (Greek: Ξηροποτάμου) is one of twenty monasteries on the Mount Athos peninsula and is located on the southwestern side of the peninsula. It is located on the road from the port of Daphne to the town of Karyes, the administrative center of the monastic republic. It is eighth in hierarchical rank among the monasteries. The katholikon of the monastery is dedicated to the memory of the Forty Holy Martyrs.

While tradition accords its founding to the Empress Pulcheria in the mid fifth century, Xeropotamou Monastery is believed to have been established at the end of the tenth century, by a monk named Paulos Xeropotamenos. Xeropotamou prospered until the thirteenth century when it was occupied and pillaged by the Franks. The monastery was supported in a revival in the fourteenth century by the Byzantine Roman Paleologan dynasty and Serbian princes. Then, after the fall of Constantinople further raids by the Turks and major fires in 1507 and 1609 caused major damage to Xeropotamou.

Kaisarios Dapontes built the katholikon at Xeropotamou between 1761 and 1763. The church is typical of the Anthonite churches on the peninsula. The frescos were finished during the twenty years after the construction of the katholikon and have been kept in very good condition. Across a courtyard in front of the katholikon is the refectory built by the Wallachian abbot Alexander. The monastery suffered damage from fires recently in 1950 and 1973.

There are seven chapels within the monastery. These chapels are dedicated to the Archangels, Ss. Constantine and Helen, the Elevation of the Holy Cross, St. John the Baptist, St. Theodosios, St. George, and the Presentation of the Virgin. The monastery has external nine chapels and owns the port of Daphne.

Xeropotamou houses numerous relics, the most prominent being the largest extant piece of the True Cross. For this reason, the monastery also celebrates a patronal feastday on September 14, the feast of the Elevation of the Holy Cross.