Castles of Greece


Lavra monastery, Athos

Tower of Morfonou

or Tower of the Amalfini Monastery  
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Tower of Morfonou
Dependency of Megisti Lavra Monastery, Athos mountain
Region > Prefecture:   Greek Map
Mount Athos
Municipality > Town:

• Lavra monastery
Elevation ≈ 70 m 
Time of Construction   Origin
16th century  
Castle Type   Condition

Morfonou Tower is what remains of the old monastery of Amalfinon, one of the first major monasteries of Mount Athos, founded in the 10th century by seven monks from Amalfi, Italy. The monastery -and the tower- was built in the 10th or 11th century.

With the decline of Byzantium, the community of the Amalfi merchants in Constantinople declined also. The monastery was finally abandoned after the Fourth Crusade. Deserted by monks, it was granted in 1287 by Andronikos II Palaiologos to the Monastery of Megisti Lavra.

Apparently, the tower remained in use -probably to support the defense of the area against pirates. It was refurbished in the 16th century and essentially a new fortification was built over the old byzantine tower.


  • «Οχυρωματικοί πύργοι του 16ου αιώνα στις Μονές του Αγίου Όρους», Πασχάλης Ανδρούδης, Πρακτικά Στ’ Επιστημονικού Συνεδρίου "ΤΟ ΑΓΙΟΝ ΟΡΟΣ στον 15ο και 16ο ΑΙΩΝΑ", σελ.487, ΑΓΙΟΡΕΙΤΙΚΗ ΕΣΤΙΑ, Θεσσαλονίκη 2012

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Road map to Tower of Morfonou

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.
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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