As legend has it Saint Helena, who was the mother of Emperor Constantine the Great founded Stavrovouni Monastery. Saint Helena was the one who left the remains of the Holy Cross at Stavrovouni Monastery. Stavrovouni Monastery is built on a hilltop, about 750 metres above sea level in the 4th century.
The monks who reside at the monastery hold strict rules. One of the most important rules is that women are not allowed to set foot in the monastery. Additionally, no one is permitted to take pictures. Furthermore, the men who visit the monastery must be suitably dressed. The monastery is believed to be holy and sacred; therefore the rules were set as not to contaminate the sacred ground with the sinful world.
Agia Varvara, found of the foothills of Stavrovouni hill, is a monastery open to both women and men. The monks who reside at the specific monastery are said to be especially skilled in iconography.
On the 14th of September of every year, Stavrovouni Monastery holds a fun-packed festival celebrating the raising of the Holy Cross.