Vlatadon Monastery in Thessaloniki
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.
In the Byzantine period, and particularly at the times of Paleologos (1261-1453 AD), Thessaloniki had plenty of monasteries, according to historical and travel references. The construction of monasteries was encouraged those times to strengthen the religious sentiment and keep people united. In particular, the Monastery of Vlatadon was established by two monks who were also brothers, Dorotheos and Markos Vlatis, which is why the monastery was called after them.
With the help of Anna Paleologina Notara, a noble woman of the Byzantine times, the monastery was constructed in the 14th century and was dedicated to Christ Almighty. In fact, as recent restoration works have shown, the monastery was built on the site of an older church, as the frescoes inside the katholikon date from the 11th century. Along centuries, many reconstructions and additions were adjoined to the monastery building.
During the Ottoman occupation of Thessaloniki, the monastery was called Tsaous Monastery, after the Turkish officer Tsaous Bei, whose residence was inside the Castle and used to walk to the monastery to enjoy the view. Today, the Monastery of Vlatadon belongs to the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.