Sunday, January 17, 2016

St. Anthony's Greek Orthodox Monastery and Florence, AZ

I first read about this monastery about 2 years ago. Six Greek Orthodox monks came from Mt. Athos in Greece in 1995 and started building this place about 9 miles South of Florence, AZ. It is amazing what has been accomplished in 20 years.
My friend Helle visited it recently and it reminded me that I wanted to go. If you go to their web site, they tell you that women must wear long skirts, blouses that are modest and long sleeved, a scarf that will cover your head and tie under your chin, close toed shoes and socks. I looked to me like everyone was from eastern Europe.

Entry patio, view towards first chapel. It's a self guided tour, and you go through the various chapels that they have built and the beautiful grounds. You aren't allowed into the areas where the monks live or to take photos of them.

Us looking like peasant women.

Candles lit in the entry of the first chapel.

The chapels had these wooden chairs built in around the walls. When I sat in one, the arms where level with my face. I think they would cause you to do less visiting and more contemplation on the service.

There are beautiful icons everywhere. And the brickwork, stonework, carving and needlework are all amazing.

Priests vestments with hand work.

In the first chapel there were lots of rugs for kneeling in front of the icons. After praying they would touch them and kiss them.

Lots of gold leaf in this chapel.

Inlaid table

Fountains are all over the grounds.

View towards next chapel.
Lots of beautiful stonework.

Monk dormitory.

Inlaid floors.

This chapel was very light and white.

Maybe for scrolls or something?

This one had an intricate wood ceiling.

View towards another chapel.

They maintain an Olive grove and citrus orchard. They sell products from their agriculture and baked goods from the kitchen. I didn't try anything because I was dieting, but it looked great!

They also have their own artesian well.

Penny looking eastern European.

Another Monk dormitory.
This chapel was amazing brick and masonry work.

Lots of complicated handwork on this curtain.

Stained glass the color of the Arizona flag.

Wood work in the ceiling.

In laid floor.

Amazing ceiling.

Amazing carving

View along the paths. Their is lots of planting in between.

Very small simple chapel.

The lion laying down with the lamb.


Open air chapel.

This is what the monks dress like.

View from the white chapel on the hill.

Looking down towards the monastery.

Elaborate metalwork on the stair railings.

Florence is 9 miles away. A mixture of new and very old. This is the new library, city hall and water park complex.

The Pinal county courthouse is old.

Lots of fun old signs an buildings. Some of the buildings date back to the 1880's.

Prison, what Florence is known for.