The Holy Cell of St Eustatius, dependency of the Monastery of Megisti Lavra, was founded by Saint Athanasios the Athonite, before 973 AD, choosing the place Mylopotamos, an impressive location, rocky and wild to the sea but calm and peaceful to the mainland.

The region, which extends to a small countryside on the northeastern side of Mount Athos and is within walking distance from the Iveron Monastery, was deforested and cleared of scattered rocks. Later on, a few cells and a temple were built in honour of the great martyr Eustatius. A vineyard was planted as well.

The proximity to the sea and the fear of pirate raids, required the existence of adequate fortifications. Mylopotamos was initially a metochi (farm) and the main vineyard, which covered the needs of the Monastery in wine and communion wine, was cultivated there.

In 1527/28 a pirate’s raid looted Mylopotamos. At the end of the 17th century it must have been used as a place of storage and timber marketing by the people of the Monastery. It was still flourishing in the last decades of the 18th century.

In recent years Mylopotamos was associated with the name of Ecumenical Patriarch Joachim III. This orthodox defender ascended the patriarchal throne in October 1884. After several stopovers, he chose "the most beautiful and romantic habitat" of Mylopotamos as a refuge to retire, devoting himself to its renovation. Austerity and a sense of elegance characterize his interventions in the buildings of Mylopotamos. In this area, the Bishop officiated continuously for twelve years until the beginning of June 1901.

The period between 1889 and 1901, was the last period of Mylopotamos prosperity. Since then, the historic Cell gradually declined until 1990, when Monk Epifanios continued until 2020 a dynamic work by renovating, modernizing, expanding the facilities and vineyards, producing quality wines and honouring Saint Eustatius, to whom the Metochi of Mylopotamos is always dedicated.

He left an indelible mark in cooking with his incomparable recipes based on the Mount Athos Mediterranean diet, which his was taught at the Monastery of Saint Pavlos and perfected with his creativity in Mylopotamos, spreading them inside and outside Mount Athos.

Ioannis Chrysafis