The Holy Monastery of Vatopedi was founded upon the ruins of an ancient monastery by the disciples of Saint Athanasios, Athanasios, Nicholas and Anthony, between 972 and 980.
The name is connected to the rescue of Arkadius, the son of the emperor Theodosius. The ship, which he boarded traveling from Constantinople to Rome, when he was a child (pedi), sank as it was approaching the coast of Athos. Arkadius, by a miracle of the Most Holy Virgin, was saved and found under a briar bush (vatos) in the place where today stands the H.M. of Vatopedi.
The monastery is dedicated to the Most Holy Mother of God and celebrates its feast on the 25th of March, the Annunciation of the Most Holy Virgin.
Mosaics, icons, frescos and portable icons adorn its Katholicon, Refectory, and chapels.
Rare books, codices, two thousands manuscripts and more than 40,000 printed books are treasured in the monastery’s magnificent library. Among the manuscripts there exists the oldest, most unique copy of the Geography of Ptolemy.
The Holy Monastery of Vatopedi founded schools, such as the Athonias Academy on Mount Athos, the Vatopedi school in Larnaca, and supported the establishment of schools, such as the Great School of the Nation in Constantinople, in addition to helping many others.
The Skete of Saint Demetrios, located one-half hour from the Monastery, as well as the Skete of Saint Andreas, also known as the «Seray» (Palace), which is located in Karyes, both belong to Vatopedi.