Holy Patriarchal and Stavropegic Monastery of St. Dionysus of Olympus (Old Monastery) was founded in 1542 and it is located 18 km from Olympus View, on the edge of Mount Olympus. The New Monastery is located just outside Litochoro (3 km) at the location Skala.
The Old Monastery-
Old Monastery was founded by St. Dionysios of Mount Olympus, whose name derives its origin from Olympus, as the first settler-hermit thereof. Near the old monastery, surrounded by a wonderful landscape lies the Cave, where the Saint spent his life as a hermit. Following Divine Revelation, St. Dionysios founded and devoted the Monastery to the Holy Trinity. In the course of time, however, the name of its founder, Saint Dionysios of Olympus, prevailed. It was sited 15 km higher that is current location.
At its northwestern chapel lies the site where St. Dionysios is buried
Ιn 1821, Veli Pasha, son of Ali Pasha set the Old Monastery on fire. After a three-day battle Hegumen Methodios Paliouras, was hung along with another 12 Monks at the central Square of Larisa. During the Olympus Revolt, in 1878, the Monastery participated actively, providing a shelter for women and children of Litochoro. During the Macedonian Struggle it served again as a refuge for fighters and a disembarkation station. In 1943, Nazis destroyed with the use of explosives, because it served as refuge for Greek resistance fighters. Since then the Monastery was transferred at the location “Metochi” (New Monastery), where it lies to date
The New Monastery-
From 1989 on the Monastery’s entrance prohibition for women (abaton) was restituted, according to the tradition bequeathed by St. Dionysus and the regulations of Mount Athos. “Abaton” includes monks’ cells, workshops, the dining room and the main church (Katholik(c)on) dedicated to the Assumption of the Mother of God, adorned with icons, painted in 1955 by the brilliant hagiographer Fotis Kontoglou.
Outside lies the new, spectacular church dedicated to St. Dionysus, the conference room and the exhibition hall, that can be visited by women.
Holy relics, part of the Holy Cross, icons of the 15th to 19th century and religious relics of great historical and artistic value are kept the new sacristy (Ecclesiastical Byzantine Museum) inaugurated in 1999 by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
The Monastery has developed significant spiritual and charitable activity, with daylong confessions and spiritual doctrines every Sunday morning after the end of the Liturgy, as well as discussions, conferences and overnight vigils.
Sunday services are held at the pilgrimage church. On all other days, religious services are held inside the abaton. The approximately 25 monks are assigned various tasks, such as: hagiography, incense, cheesemaking, beekeeping, candle making, gardening, carpentry, bookbinding etc.
On 23 January the Monastery celebrates the Feast Day of Saint Dionysius of Olympus
St. Dionysius, who originated from Thessaly, lived in the 16th century. Before he came to Olympus he held the title of abbot (Hegumen) of Mount Athos Monastery of Philotheou, and also spent time at Pelion as hermit. He is also known for his valuable missionary work in Macedonia under Ottoman Rule and he is somehow considered the forerunner of Cosmas of Aetolia, monk in Mount Athos Monastery of Philotheou.