The Monastery of Vlatadon in Thessaloniki, Greece: The Monastery of Vlatadon is located on the northern side of Ano Poli of Thessaloniki, close to the castle walls and just opposite the tower of Paleologos. This monastery is the only surviving monastery from the Byzantine times, despite its destructions through centuries.
History of Monastery of Vlatadon
The monastery of Vlatadon is one of the oldest and most important Byzantine monuments of Thessaloniki. It is located in the Northern part of Ano Poli, next to the imposing Byzantine “Portara” (Great Gate). Its importance lies to the fact that despite the various challenges and significant disasters the monastery suffered throughout the centuries, it never stopped being active!
It was founded somewhere between 1351 to 1371 AD by the empress Anna Palaiologina while it was named after two monks, Dorotheos and Markos Vlattis two of Saint Gregory Palamas (Archibishop of Thessalonica) closest friends.
Apart from the Christian tradition, Byzantine scripts and other documents dated back to 14th century AD also refer to it as the “Monastery of Pantokratoros” or “Vlateon Monastery”. The earliest available source is a letter written by Patriarch Mathew of Constantinople in 1400 AD to the Metropolis of Thessalonica.
Monastery of Vlatades today
Out of the original temple only a few architectural elements are being preserved until today, Including curved arches, pediments and semi-columns. The Katholikon of the monastery, the building of the main temple also had numerous modifications and additions throughout the centuries.
In general, the structural characteristics resemble the style applied during the age of Palaiologon dynasty while the majority of the frescoes are dated back to the 14th century!
The monastery preserves religious and historic relics that include several scripts and manuscripts, codecs and Turkish firmans, imperial golden bulls (imperial golden seals) and patriarchal sigilliums. A huge collection of portable Byzantine religious icons of great historic and artistic value is also kept and preserved within the Vlatadon monastery.
The outstanding panoramic view of the location will offer you some really unforgettable images! At 120m above sea level it is definitely one of the best spots available and one of the kind destination for every photography lover! On a clear day you’ll be able to see Olympus Mountain located 150km away, without any difficulty.
While exploring the historic Ano Poli (Upper Town or Old City) don’t miss the chance to visit the History of the Monastery and the Seven Towers Fortress History of the Monastery. You can also take a short walk and discover many traditional taverns all around the area! Take your time and explore the flavors!
We visited the monastery on a beautiful sunny day, something that gave us the opportunity to enjoy a magnificent sunset later on! The colors were amazing! We suggest you do the same and relax while enjoying this unique, historic monastery!