Photographer's Note

The Saint George the Zograf Monastery or Zograf Monastery (Bulgarian: Зографски манастир; Greek: ÌïíÞ ÆùãñÜöïõ, Moní Zográphou) is an Orthodox monastery on Mount Athos (the "Holy Mountain") in Greece. According to the tradition, it was founded in the late 9th or early 10th century by three Bulgarians from Ohrid and is regarded as the historical Bulgarian monastery on Mount Athos, and is inhabited by Bulgarian Orthodox monks since 13th century.

The monastery is named after the 13th or 14th century icon of Saint George, known as Saint George the Zograf (Светѝ Гео̀рги Зогра̀ф). The name of the latter comes from the belief that the icon mysteriously painted itself on the prepared board (zograf(os) in Greek means "painter".

The earliest written evidence of the monastery's existence dates from 980. During the Middle Ages, the monastery was generously supported by the Bulgarian rulers, such as Ivan Asen II and Ivan Alexander, since it was a matter of pride for the Bulgarian Orthodox Church to maintain a monastery on Athos. The Zograf Monastery has also received land endowments by Byzantine (the first donor being Leo VI the Wise) and Serbian rulers.

The Zograf Monastery was plundered and burnt down by
mercenaries of the Catalan Grand Company raided the Holy Mountain for two years (1307–9), sacking many monasteries, plundering the treasures of Christendom, and terrorising the monks. Of the 300 monasteries on Athos at the beginning of the 14th century, only 35 were left by the end. But the monastery recovered quickly with the help of grants and support from the Palaeologue Emperors and the princes of the Danubian Principalities. The buildings were reconstructed in the late 13th century with the financial aid of Byzantine Emperor Andronicus II Palaeologus. The monastery was also given numerous metochia (properties) in parts of Romania, Bulgaria, Russia, and modern-day Turkey, but retains today only those in Greece.

The monastery exists in its modern appearance since the 16th century, while its present-day buildings date from the middle 18th century. The south wing was built in 1750, the east in 1758, the small church was erected in 1764 and the large one in 1801. The north and west wing are from the second half of the 19th century and large-scale construction ended in 1896 with the Saints Cyril and Methodius Church and the raising of the bell tower.
In this photo you can see its "arsanas" (small harbour)'s complex through which it communicates to other Athonite monasteries and the world outside Athos.
Photo processed in Photoshop.

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Additional Photos by Theologos Tats (thiv56) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 148 W: 50 N: 261] (1628)
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