The monastery of Xeropotamou is located on the south-west side of the Athos peninsula and is dedicated to the Forty Martyrs. The monastery was founded towards the end of the tenth century, probably by the monk Pavlos Xeropotamenos. In the late Byzantine period it was supported by the Paleologan dynasty as well as Serbian rulers. After the fall of Byzantium, the turkish raids, and two destructive fires in 1507 and 1609, cause serious damages to the monastery.
It occupies the eighth rank in the hierarchical order of the twenty Athonite monasteries. It is inhabited by 40 monks (1990) and is coenobitic.
The monastery‛s katholikon was built by Caesar Dapontes between 1761-1763 and has the typical plan of all the Athonite churches. The wall murals date back to the time of its creation and are still maintained today in an exquisite condition.
Within the monastery are seven chapels dedicated to the Archangels, Saints Contantin and Helen, to the Elevation of the Holy Cross, to Saint John the Baptist, Saints Theodosios and George and to the Presentation of the Virgin.
Opposite the entrance of the Katholikon is the refectory, built by the Wallachian abbot Alexander. Between the Katholikon and the refectory lies the Phiale for the blessing of the waters, made from red marble.
The library contains 409 hand-written codices and 4,000 volumes of printed books. Also, the monastery features invaluable treasures, such as a fragment of the True Cross and relics of many saints.