Monastery Buildings > Old Monastery Cells

The north side of the central group of buildings in the monastery is taken up by the old wing of cells from the 16th century, which, although no longer in use, is still in a satisfactory condition.

Twenty-nine small, modest and cells with a low ceiling, and no openings other than a small door and a tiny window, are a striking testimony to the austerity of the way of life led by the monks over the course of the five centuries the monastery has been in operation.

The floors are tiled with stone slabs. Each cell has two or three recesses, in which the monks would have kept their personal belongings. Traces of frescoes survive in some of the cells. The open wooden corridors on the first and second floors are a distinctive feature of this north wing of the monastery.

The cell in which Saint Ignatios lived in as a monk can be found on the first floor of the old wing. It is the cell furthest to the West on the wing, consisting of two small rooms that take exactly the same form as the cells used by the rest of the monks.

The first of these rooms has been turned into a chapel. Above the altar built into the wall of the chapel there is part of fresco from the 16th century. It is from the right-hand side of a scene depicting the Presentation of Christ in the Temple, in which Symeon and the prophetess Anna can be seen. It is thought that this scene may have been part of the original 16th century layer of frescoes in the katholikon, and was incorporated into the wall in its present position when extensive renovations were made to the main church of the monastery at the end of the 18th century.

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