Metochi "Gregoriatiko" or "Parthenon "as the monks called it in their official documents, is located in N. Marmaras "is about an hour away from the Parthenon and about 3 & 1/2 hours from Ancient Toroni. In the area of Metochi is also included the port Balabani, the best port in Toroneos Gulf. Metochi Grigoriatiko is one of the older estate of GrigoriounMonastery, as evidenced by all the official documents of the Monastery from 1429 onwards ".
This description is given by documents of I.M. Gregoriou in 1905, when Neos Marmaras did not yet exist. His contribution to the Macedonian Struggle was significant.
The area of Metochi, according to official documents kept in the Monastery, exceeded 25,000 Turkish acres (one Turkish acre consists of 1,600 square meters) and was divided into a forest of pines, arable land and meadows.
Metochi experienced great glory from 1860 onwards, when its Directors who were sent from the Monastery of Gregoriou, took care of the olive groves and althow the Monastery supplied Metochi with olive oil until 1870, now Metochi gave "sufficient income" to the Monastery . Apart from the olive trees and cereals that were cultivated in Metochi, sericulture as well as livestock were developed. This progress is due to the jealous effort of the Directors Abbakum, Gerasimos, Raphael, Ananias and other younger ones. There were no Kolligi settled in Metochi, but all the work was done by hired workers.
Metochi consists of a building built in 1905 under the supervision of Gerontas Ananias for the residence of each Director and his monks, by small church "Assumption of the Virgin" built in 1863 by the monk Ambrose. It has dimensions of 9x6.30m and a height of 4m. The iconostasis bears the despotic icons of the Lord, the Most Holy Theotokos, the Assumption of the Virgin, the Saint Prodromos and Agios Nikolaos.
The following image is from 1905, when Gerontas Ananias was Director.
The building includes hostels for foreigners, Olive Mill, Warehouses for cereals, olive oil and other products, Stables, special facilities for sericulture and Watermill located in the stream originating from Dragoudeli, about ¾ an hour from Metochi (Watermill Konistis, which in 1930 Grigoriou Monastery grants to the Committee for the Rehabilitation of Refugees and to the Community of N. Marmara the right of management).
In Metochi and in the locations "Paleochora", "Agios Ioannis" and "Ginegeli" have been found various marble slabs with inscriptions, crosses and other signs that testify that Metochi was located in an ancient city.
In the year 1933 a large part of the Metochi was expropriated for the restoration of the refugees who settled in Neos Marmaras, while in the years 1964 and 1967 the Monastery sold the rest of the land. However, there remained an area of about 12 acres with the buildings that existed in it, two two-storey buildings with cells, perpendicular to each other , archontariki, dining rooms, a hostel, kitchens, warehouses and other spaces.
After the expropriation of 1933 and the sales of 1964 and 1967, Metochi had fallen into obscurity. From 1985 onwards, the Monastery of Saint Gregoriou utilized the remaining area, putting Metochi back into operation. They planted olive trees, renovated the existing houses and every day it remains open for its pilgrims. Preaching fathers of the monastery are sent there, except during the summer season, when it closes temporarily.
However, because the small space of the church was not enough, in 1991 a larger stone-built, two-aisled, basilica-style church (dimensions 14.5x9.20m and 6m high) was built in the name of the Holy New Martyrs, "after the fall of Constantinople witnesses ". The sanctuary is located at the top of the hill of Metochi, dominates the surrounding area and is surrounded by olive trees, almond trees and palm trees.
Contribution of Metochi to the Macedonian Struggle.
During the Macedonian Struggle and when Gerontas Stefanos was the Director, Metochi was turned into a hospital for the wounded, a shelter and hiding place for the persecuted and a center and stronghold of the warlords and hoplites operating in Halkidiki. Metochi became a supply center for the warriors operating in both Halkidiki and Eastern Macedonia. Many times the Greek government sent sailboats with ammunition to refuel the warriors, which were hidden in Metochi and at night they carried the ammunition to the forest or hid it in the sand.
Many times in Metochi, under the same roof, persecuting detachments of Turks and chiefs with their young men were hosted. In such a case, when the Turkish commander asked for written assurance that there is peace in Metochi, the chief V. Papakostas and the rebel Galanis from Sykia, dressed as monks, handed him the document.
Many chiefs who were hosted in Metochi are mentioned, such as Kosmopoulos Dimitrios with the pseudonym Kourbetis, Mitrousis who was killed in a clash in Kaminikia, Serres, as well as Panagiotis from Agrinio, Papakostas Vassilios, Georgios Galanopoulos, Papatzaneteas Panagiotis, Kois Aristovoulos and many others. They stayed for weeks in Metochi and there was so much trust that they assigned to the Director of the Metochi, Gerontas Stefanos, the negotiations with the Consulate of Thessaloniki. When asked where they came from, they answered "from the Roman Metochi".
The Abbot of Konstamonitou Monastery, Archimandrite Stefanos, when he visited Metochi together with the Director of Metochi "Konstamonitiko" Gerontas Athanasios and saw many chiefs with their young warriors dancing and singing songs of freedom, said "Μωρέ εσείς το κάματε σωστό Ρωμαίικο!!!
Iosif Adamidis, a lawyer and later a Member of Parliament for Korytsa, and Eleftherios Hatzikostas, a doctor on a mission of the Thessaloniki Consulate in Halkidiki, were hosted in Metochi and, excited by the bravery of rebels and hospitalitysaid "We heard about the Peloponnesian hospitality and we we knew from history about patriotism of the Peloponnesians, but what we see exceeds our calculations "
The prisons of Eptapyrgio, Thessaloniki, hosted several Gregorians for their anti-Turkish ideas. Gerontas Raphael died in prison as a "Yunanlides" feeder. Gerontas Ananias was arrested for treating rebels in 1906 and sentenced to three years in prison. Gerontas Stefanos is accused of fostering rebels after a letter of his own that was found in the possession of the rebel Galanis and he was taken to the prisons of Eptapyrgio in handcuffs for three months in prison, but was saved from certain death by the testimonies of Metropolitan Kassandrias and many other Greek and Turkish officials.
All this happened during the Abbotship of Iakovos, who during his stay in Metochi "Parthenon" in the summer of 1909 in order to settle a difference about margins with the villagers, contracted malaria and died on January 27, 1910 and was buried in the cemetery of the Monastery after abbotship of four years and three months.
In a document of Dim. Kosmopoulos under the pseudonym "Captain Kourbetis" states: "The general leader of Halkidiki - Langada and departments of Serres certifies that: Osios Stefanos from Grigoriou Monastery, genus Staikopoulos from Pirgos, 35 years old, in 1906 was the leader of the Macedonian Struggle from the beginning to the end, the natural Protector and General Agent of the Corps in Halkidiki. He directed the Metochi "Parthenon", lying in the region of Sykia (Longos), and made it a station of the Corps of Halkidiki, for the ascent and descent of Corps using the line Skopelos- Kyra Panagia- Psathoura - Sykia- Parthenon- Barbara- Nigrita- Serres- Paggaio ».
A characteristic excerpt of a letter from Saint Stephen to Captain Kourbetis that shows his opinion "Our ship is at your disposal. You decide and order. I have a visit of Karali (meaning Turkish gendarmes) and I write under his eyes. I am coming in a while. Stefanos 24/2/1908 ».
Source: Krassa Anna and Gremoula Olympia, teachers of High School N. Marmaras, Environmental Education Project "Temples and chapels of Neos Marmara", School Year 1995-96. The work is based on official documents of the Holy Monastery of Saint Gregory, Mount Athos and a personal interview by the Director of Metochi .