The fusion of The Holy Spirit and Our Architect’s Genius has created a most magnificent sacred place which serves and transforms all who experience its beauty…
Metropolitan Anthony of Blessed Memory
The Holy Monastery of the Theotokos, – the Life Giving Spring, is located on a plateau, high in the Sierra Nevada foothills near Kings Canyon National Park in California.
The monastery’s master plan develops the property as a walled city, creating a protective, stable, and permanent sacred space near the St. Nicholas Ranch and Retreat Center. The Convent portion is zoned into three general areas within the secured, fortified perimeter.
The public area consists of facilities such as visitor center, store, the hospitality/reception areas, convent offices, priest quarters and the archontariki or visitor’s quarters. The northern segment of the convent is cloistered: only the nuns and authorized visitors and workers can enter this area. This area consists of the nuns’ living quarters and work areas. The katholikon or main church is the focal point, heart and center of the Convent. It is the pivot and connection point of all the areas of the Convent. It faces into the more public area, but also connects the more private areas of living and working for the sisters.
The katholikon is a domed cruciform church based upon the Athonite model and built with banded, split-faced CMU lending a rugged and old world feel to this temple. It includes a liti (an area between the narthex and the main church used for certain monastic services), the nave, soleas and semicircular shaped excedrae as north and south choirs, the iconostasis (icon screen) and altar area. CJK Design Group designed ornate carved wood doors and the temple flooring, elaborately inlaying it with marble patterns and medallions while the walls are beautifully layered with iconography. In front of the temple in the platea stands a phiali, or covered fountain representing the Living Spring, which transcends the walls of the church, going out into the world as a witness. By the request of Metropolitan Anthony, Christ Kamages also designed his final resting place outside the church.