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December 12, 2007

Great Lavra (Athos)

Coordinates: 40°10′16″N, 24°22′58″E

Cypress of St. Athanasius the Athonite, as seen from the entrance in the church of Great Lavra. It is said to be over 1000 years old.
Cypress of St. Athanasius the Athonite, as seen from the entrance in the church of Great Lavra. It is said to be over 1000 years old.

The Monastery of Great Lavra was built by the monk Athanasius of Trebizond with funds from Byzantine Emperor Nicephorus II Phocas who intended to abdicate his throne and become a monk before being assassinated in 969. Great Lavra is the oldest and largest monastery on Mount Athos in Greece, housing 317 monks in 1990. There are 37 chapels in the Great Lavra. The Great Lavran library contains 2,046 manuscripts, 165 codices, and 30,000 printed books.

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