Esphigmenou is built next to the sea on a bay on the northeast side of Mt. Athos. It was founded towards the end of the 10th century or early 11th century. It was destroyed in 1531 by pirates but got rebuilt right after. In later centuries the monastery had the support of the Russian czar Alexios and the rulers of Moldavia-Wallachia. Its Catholicon dates from the period 1808-1811, frescoed in the 19th century and its feast day is the Ascension of Christ. Its library contains 372 manuscripts and 2.000 printed works. The monastery is the 18th in the hierarchy of Mt. Athos.