is housed in a separate building in the monastery's court. It contains 1,320
Greek manuscripts and another 600 Slavonic ones, as well as 25,000 printed
books. In addition, the library has a few priceless relics, such as the head of
Saint Panteleimon, one of the most popular saints in Russia. The 19th-century
monastery bells are said to be the largest in Greece. There is a daughter
community at the monastery at New Athos, Abkhazia.
transfer of Athos to the Kingdom of Greece in 1912, and especially with the
start of World War I in 1914, the stream of pilgrims and monks from Russia was
disrupted and later was strictly controlled by the government of Greece until
the collapse of the USSR in 1991. As a result, the number of Russian monks in
the monastery and on Mount Athos generally, was reduced from several thousand
in the 1900s to thirteen men in the early 1970s. In 1990s, Greece relaxed its
restrictive policy and the monastery has since undergone a relative revival.