Two large Sketes (monastic
style communities) are attached to Vatopedi: the Skete of Saint Andrew in
Karyes and the Skete of Saint Demetrius near the main monastery. Other smaller
sketes are also attached to the monastery.
within the walls of the monastery
The Katholikon (primary
church), dedicated to the Annunciation of the Theotokos (Virgin Mary), The
Refectory or trapeza, The Byzantine period clock tower, The 10th century NE
tower which now houses the monastery's library.
Treasures held within
The Monastery of Vatopedi
holds the Cincture of the Theotokos, a belt held by some believers to be the
actual belt of the Theotokos, which she wore on earth and gave to Thomas the
Apostle after her death and during her transition to heaven (the equivalent in
the Western Church is the Girdle of Thomas). The silver and jewel-encrusted
reliquary containing the skull of St. John Chrysostom is kept in the Monastery
and is credited by Eastern Orthodox Christians with miraculous healings. The monastery
also contains the Iaspis, a chalice fashioned of a single piece of the precious
stone jasper, and numerous icons.
preserves a medieval royal charter, the 13th-century Vatopedi Charter of Ivan
Asen II of Bulgaria dedicated to the monastery. It was discovered in the
monastery's archives in 1929.
The library holds 2,000
manuscripts and 35,000 printed books. Among manuscripts from Vatopedi are
Uncial 063, Uncial 0102, and the Vatopedi Psalter in the British Library and
the early-14th century Codex Vatopedinus 655 divided between the British
Library and the French Bibliothèque Nationale, which includes numerous
peripluses, extracts from Strabo and Ptolemy's geographical works, and early
There are seven icons of
the Mother of God in the monastery purported by believers to be
miracle-working: Elaiovrytissa, Ktetorissa (Vimatarissa), Esphagmeni,
Pantanassa, Pyrovolitheisa, Antiphonitria and Paramythia.
In September 2008, the
monastery was implicated in an alleged real estate scandal. The monastery is
being accused of trading low-value land for high-value state property in a deal
with the New Democracy government of Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis. The cost
to the state is believed to have been at least €100 million.