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Kessariani Monastery
The Kessariani Monastery PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 14 December 2009 18:52

During the XIth century, Byzantium flourished in the arts thanks to the accession to power of an extremely enlightened dynasty, that of the Macedonians (867-1080). As the result of consecutive successful campaigns against various invaders, such as the Russians, the Bulgarians and the Arabs, the Macedonian Emperors managed to restore peace throughout most of the lands governed by Byzantium. With peace thus insured, along with other art forms, architecture experienced a remarquable apogee. During this very period, a series of monasteries were built on the slopes of mount Hymettus. Among them was Asterion Monastery, an exceptionally beautiful building, overlooking Attica from an altitude of 545 meters from a cavity on one of the slopes.

Then, in the Xth century, "St. John of the Hunters", also called the Philosopher`s Monastery, was built on the North side of the mountain. St. John the Theologian's Monastery, at the foot of Ymyttos on the outskirts of Papagou and the Karea Monastery, above Messogia, were also constructed at approximately the same time.

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However, the Kaisariani Monastery was the most renowned and the richest of all. There are no written testimonies about it before the Frankish occupation. Its apogee seems to have been between the end of the XIIth century and the beginning of the XIIIth . In 1204, Pope Innocent III submitted Kaisariani Monastery to the jurisdiction of the Latin Archbishop of Athens. When, in 1458, the Turks occupied Attica, Mohamed went to the monastery and, according to Jacob Spon (1675), a French doctor from Lyon, that is where he was given the key to the city.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 April 2010 09:54