The Laura of St. Athanasius , or the Great Lavra ( Greek: Ιερά Μονή Μεγίστης Λαύρας .  ) is the preeminent monastery on Holy Mount Athos . Located on a small plateau in the southeast of the peninsula, half an hour's walk from the sea.
|Ερά Μονή Μεγίστης Λαύρας|
|Founding date||963 year|
The feast day is July 5 (according to the Julian calendar ), on the day of St. Athanasius Athos .
Lavra was founded in 963 year of sv. Athanasius Athos, a native of Cappadocia  , who introduced to the cave and hermit monasticism a hostel system ( kinovii ), which later became the predominant monastic way of life both on Mount Athos and other monasteries in the east.
The main ensemble of monastic buildings was built on the donations of the emperors Nikifor Foki and John Tzimiskes.
The monastery flourished for a long time, gradually accumulating a large number of possessions. In addition to the annual gold alms, established by the emperors Fock and Tzimischius, Basil II donated an island to the monastery. One after another, Gomat, Monoksilit and Amalfitysky monasteries retired into the possession of the Monastery together with the monasteries of Kalikas and Xirokastron, which was confirmed by the imperial letters ( hrisovuli ) of Andronicus II and Dimitri Paleologa ( 1453 - 1465 ). Generous donations were made by the Serbian ruler, Stefan Dusan .
However, pirate raids, earthquakes, taxation imposed on the monasteries during the Turkish yoke, contributed to the growth of the crisis state of the monastery.
The monastery kept its cynical statute until the XIV century. The transformation of the Lavra in the XIV century into a special-multiplying one led to the establishment of Tipika (charter). In 1574, Patriarch Sylvester of Alexandria returned the monastery to the hostel. Almost 100 years later, in 1670 , the Lavra became again a multiplier. Since 1980 - hostel.
In the Lavra is the Cathedral Church ( Katholikon ) in honor of the Annunciation ( X century ) with frescoes of the XVI century, the work of Theophanes of Crete . Katholikon has two chapels. The north is dedicated to forty Sebastian martyrs , and the south to St. Nicholas of Myra . In the northern chapel is the tomb of St. Athanasius, whose memorial day is a particularly revered holiday of the Lavra.
Among the many precious relics and gifts of the Byzantine emperors are stored: the cross and the rod of St.. Athanasius; two miraculous icons: the Economis (put in memory of the phenomenon of St. Athanasius of Our Lady at the place where the life-giving source is located) and Kukuzelissa, located in the Church of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the temple; parts of the life-giving tree of the Cross of the Lord in precious frames; relics of sv. Basil the Great , sv. Michael of Sinad, sv. Apostle Andrew Pervozvannogo , of sv. Ephraim the Syrian and many other saints.
The refectory preserved frescoes of the XVI century . In the Lavra court, in front of the entrance to the catholicon, there is a marble bowl for the consecration of water, with two thousand-year-old cypress trees growing next to it.
The Lavra Library has approximately 2,116 manuscripts, 20,000 printed books and 100 manuscripts in foreign languages, 8 maps from the Coalen Codex (6th century), the Athos Code of the Great Lavra , code 049 , 0167. The Svyatogorsk Library of the Great Lavra has a charter dated February 1016. year, signed by the abbots of the Athos monasteries, including the abbot of the monastery of Rosov. This is the beginning of the reign of Yaroslav the Wise, who broke the squad of Svyatopolk the Cursed in that year and took Kiev  .
- Prodrom - Romanian skete on Mount Athos, belonging to the Great Lavra