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Vlatadon Monastery

Vlatadon Monastery is at Ano Poli area.

  1. Modern and Contemporary era (1912 - )

    1969 The surrounding buildings were constructed.

    1980 Restoration works began due to damage from the 1978 earthquake. It lasted a year and frescoes were uncovered.

  2. Ottoman era (1453- 1912)

    1910 It was repaired in imitation of the original Byzantine central church.

  3. Byzantine era (331 AC- 1453)

    1351 The monastery was founded between 1351 and 1371.

    1360 The frescoes date to 1360-1380.

  4. Roman era (30 BC- 330 AC)

  5. Hellenistic era (322- 31 BC)

  6. Classical era (478-323 BC)

  7. Archaic era (800-479 BC)

  8. Geometric era (-1100- 800 BC)

  9. Prehistory (-1100 BC)

What I can see

Today, only the central church of the Byzantine monastery is preserved. The surrounding buildings were built during the dictatorship, to the designs of Nikolaos Moutsopoulos and house the Patriarchic Foundation for Patristic Studies. Α synthesis of Byzantine, traditional and brutalist elements can be distinguished in them. Despite the successful transfer of these elements to reinforced concrete, a problem of scale is created in relation to the surrounding buildings of the Ano Poli (Upper Town). Despite the changes that the Byzantine main church has undergone over the centuries, structurally and morphologically it refers to the Paleologian style. It is cruciform inscribed with unusual masonry and the dome does not rest on columns, but on the sanctuary’s walls and on two pillars on the west side. It is also surrounded by an arcade, at the ends of which there are two chapels. The church was probably built on top of an earlier church by the Hesychast brothers Dorotheos and Markos Vlatis (hence Vlataion or Vlatadon), who in 1359 painted their teacher, Saint Gregory of Palamas. The frescoes were hammered in order for the wall to be properly painted by the Turks. They are considered of great artistic value, as they are associated with the last “flash” of the Byzantine Empire before its fall.

What I can't see

It is the only monastery in the city that has been operating continuously since the Byzantine period. It was originally dedicated to Christ the Almighty. Today it is dedicated to the Transfiguration of the Saviour. The last name of the Vlatis brothers means those who traded in vlati, a valuable fabric. During the Ottoman period, it operated as a mosque for a short period of time, as evidenced by the hammered frescoes, but for the longest time, the monastery enjoyed the favour of the Sultan, with many privileges. Thus, it remained a very wealthy monastery and the monks often rented their cool cells to wealthy Thessalonians during summer and paid little attention to charity. Until recently, the people of Thessaloniki called the monastery “Tsaous Manastir”. Theories of the origin of this name are many, such as that a) Cavus Bey repaired the tower at the entrance of Heptapyrgion and supervised the water supply pipes or b) from the guard with cavuses (sergeants) provided by the Sultan to the monastery, as a reward for their help to conquer the city. Most historians agree on the first version. Finally, inside and outside the main church, graves from the 14th to the beginning of the 16th century were found.


  • Address: Eptapyrgiou St.


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Open House Thessaloniki, (2019), Μονή Βλατάδων, [Vlatades Monastery] ΟΗΤΗ

Open House Thessaloniki, (2018), Μονή Βλατάδων, [Vlatades Monastery] ΟΗΤΗ