The monastery of Vatopedi
The monastery was founded shortly after A.D. 972, possibly on the site of the ancient town of Dion, by Athanasios, Nikolaos and Antonios of Adrianoupolis. The monastery owes its name to the flora of the surrounding area which consists of dense groups of shrubs (vatos = shrub, pedion = plain, ground). It celebrates the feast of the Annunciation and is the second ranking monastery of the Athonite State. It was here, close by the monastery, in 1743, that the "Athonite School" was established, at which taught enlightened teachers of the Nation. The mosaic icons on the walls of the katholikon of the monastery (Annunciation - Saint Nikolaos) convey the spiritual and artistic regeneration of the Palaiologoi as formulated in Constantinople, while parts of the painted decoration of the exonarthex of the same church, untouched by later hands, reflect the form that regeneration took in Thessaloniki (Panselinos School).