The Monastery of Timios Prodromos

Trip Start May 08, 2010
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Trip End Jan 23, 2011


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Flag of Greece  , Macedonia Region,
Tuesday, June 22, 2010




We left early in the morning for the Monastery of Timios Prodromos (John the Baptist) which is located about 12 km North east of Serres in the bottom of a ravine on Mt. Menoikion. It was raining on the way, but it stopped by the time we got there.
We were impressed the moment we entered it, and the nuns were very pleased to show us around. 
We visited the museum, and several bought different souvenirs from the Monastery;s small shop. The nuns make home made pasta, jam, sell herbs, even a cream they make themselves for times when we get burnt.

History of the Monastery

The catholicon (main church) was built in the 14th century and belongs to the single-aisled domed type with lite, narthex, exonarthex and an oblong roofed portico on the south side (Makrynariki). On the north side are two chapels and the belfry. The rest of the buildings are organized around the catholicon: cells, abbot's quarters, school, refectory, library, hostel. The wall paintings of the catholicon were executed in 1300-1333 and were continued in several periods, by various artists.

The monastery was founded in 1275-1278 by monk Ioannikios from Serres and a few years later it was renovated by his nephew, Ioakeim, bishop of Zichne. It soon developed to an important monastic centre with great financial prosperity, because it was favoured by the Byzantine emperors. Patriarch George Scholarios (Gennadios) died here and was buried in the catholicon.

The monastery, still functioning today, acquired its final form with the addition of many buildings during the Turkish occupation.
In the years between 1972 and 1986 the roofs of several buildings were repaired. Since 1986 restoration has been carried out at the cells of the east wing and at the north wing.

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