Kastrologos
Castles of Greece

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Hilandar monastery, Athos

St Savas Tower of Hilandar

  
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St Savas Tower of Hilandar
Location:
Hilandar monastery, Athos mountain
Region > Prefecture:   Greek Map
Athos
Mount Athos
Municipality > Town:

• Hilandar monastery
Altitude:
Elevation ≈ 60 m 
Time of Construction   Origin
12th century  
BYZANTINE
H 
Castle Type   Condition
Castle-Monastery  
Relatively Good
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Hilandar Monastery (also spelled Chilandari), (Greek: Χιλανδαρίου, Hilandariou; Serbian: Хиландар, Hilandar) is the northern most monastery located on the northeast side of the Athos Peninsula in northern Greece. The monastery was founded in 1198 by Ss. Sava and Simeon. The Monastery has been supported and populated by Serbian monks since then. It is ranked fourth in the hierarchical order of the twenty monasteries located on the Mount Athos peninsula.

On March 4, 2004, there was a devastating fire at the Hilandar monastery, with approximately 50% of the walled complex destroyed in the blaze. Vast reconstruction efforts are underway, to restore Hilandar.

Like many other monasteries in Athos, Hillandar resembles a fortress with high walls (30m), enforced by two defensive towers, the imposing tower of St Savas at the eastern side and the smaller tower of St George at the southern side.


Structure, Fortification & Buildings

Planned and built as a part of the defences of Chilandar, the tower of St Sava is not an independent fortifcation. Constructed on a rock ledge, it is adominant feature, the main defending tower of the monastery. Its western side, adjoining the defensive wall, faces the courtyard. Judging by the remains of walls in this section, the tower of St. Sava was located in the northeast part of the monastic fortress, adjoining its east wall. In size and ground plan the tower resembles the great tower of Transfguration of the monastery of Vatopedi.
At present, the tower of St Sava consists of the basement, the ground-foor, four storeys with the chapel of St. John the Forerunner and an attic. The dimensions of the tower at the base are 8.5mx13.5m.

According to D. Bošković (1939), the tower had three main building phases. The frst one, from the the ground up to the second storey, was associated to the founding of Serbian Chilandar by Saints Simeon and Sava. The second comprises the next two storeys, including the roof of the chapel and dates to the beginning of the 14th century. It is ascribed to the Serbian king Stefan Uroš Milutin (1282-1321), who, according to the Serbian Archbishop Danilo II, built in Chilandar not only the catholicon but also “many imperial palaces and excellent cells…, battlements around this Holy Place with a great fortress because of the imminent threat of the godless pirate”. The third phase of 1682-84, in fact a phase of repairs, comprises the superimposed arches within the tower, the crenellations and the wooden roof, as well as reconstructions in the chapel.


Sources

  • «Η ΑΡΧΙΤΕΚΤΟΝΙΚΗ ΤΟΥ ΑΓΙΟΥ ΟΡΟΥΣ -ΠΥΡΓΟΙ ΚΑΙ ΑΡΣΑΝΑΔΕΣ» Διπλωματική Εργασία ΠΑΠΑΝΤΩΝΙΟΥ ΠΑΝΑΓΙΩΤΗΣ & ΠΙΤΣΗΣ ΧΑΡΑΛΑΜΠΟΣ, ΠΑΝΕΠΙΣΤΗΜΙΟ ΠΑΤΡΩΝ, ΠΟΛΥΤΕΧΝΙΚΗ ΣΧΟΛΗ, ΤΜΗΜΑ ΠΟΛΙΤΙΚΩΝ ΜΗΧΑΝΙΚΩΝ , ΟΚΤΩΒΡΗΣ 2008, ΠΑΤΡΑ , διαθέσιμη και online
  • "Three early shallow-butressed Towers of the monastery of Chilandar", by Pascal Androudis, available online
  • 3D drawing from the website Studio Alterity - Hilandar Monastery – Digital Reconstruction;

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Road map to St Savas Tower of Hilandar

Access
Approach to the monument:
You can enter Mount Athos only by boat from Ouranoupolis, Nea Roda or Ierissos (one depart per day) to Daphne. From there, you may visit the monasteries by bus or on foot.
Entrance:
The entrance to the monasteries of "Agio Oros" is free, but you need a special permit to visit mount Athos. Women are not allowed in.


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