1917 – The sound of the tálanton at Esfigmenou

This is what we heard when entering the monastery of Esfigmenou after a long walk coming from  the other coast,  from Thibais. The beating on the wooden tálanton is a call for the monks to go to the church. Only the monks, no orthodox pilgrims were allowed in the church because it was monday, a monk told us. We did not have a reservation but the monks invited us to stay which we thankfully accepted because the other monastery in the surroundings, Chilandariou was full.
The movie shows the church of Esfigmenou which looked different in 1853.esfigmenou 2017 church.png

Herman Voogd

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1916 – Wolves on the peninsula: proof

We walked from Esfigmenou to Karyes, Marouda over the ridge (The Way of the Bey). Mostly monopatia, only a short intermission with a dirt road. The dirtroad overrules the path just after Stavros, where the routes from Esfigmenou and Chilandariou meet (the path to Chilandariou is not on this map). This was May 2017.
There I found these footprints:
My knife is 8,5 centimetres. The left footprint measures 9,5 cm and the right one 11 cm.
According to this plate a wolf’s foot measures 5 inch (12,7 cm). I learned that there is a slight difference between the front leg (3,5 to 5 inch) and the hind leg (3,5 to 4,5 inch).
This map shows the distribution of wolves in Europe:
On the site of the Friends of Mount Athos I read the following story:
‘On December 17, 2015 the following account confirming this advisory was sent in by a
FoMA member to his membership secretary’:
“Before, you had warned me in an e-mail ‘that it is forbidden to spend the night outside
because of wolves.’ As circumstances dictated, I had to do just that. I spent the evening
keeping a vigil down at the water front in an open sided storage building (so the night breeze was coming toward shore from the sea). At 1:30 A.M. I saw a wolf trot by 45 feet away. He couldn’t smell or for that matter see me because of the direction of the breeze. Needless to say, this introduced new ferver into my vigil!”
While investigating this I watched pictures of wolf scat. I’m convinced that I have seen scat like that close to the foot prints, but I did not take a picture. I would like to conclude: it is highly likely, probable, that this is a sound proof of the presence of the wolf here. The lack of domesticated animals, like sheep, goat, or chicken on Athos doesn’t put him off from exploring the Holy Mountain. We didn’t hear the Wolf Howlin.”
Bas Kamps
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1915 – The chapel of Andreou

The history of the oldest chapel in the skiti of Andreou is written in post 1850. A short history in foto’s by Koolschijn (1970), Geldermans (1972), Wim Voogd (2015) en Herman Voogd (2017).Herman Voogd

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1914 – The courtyard of Megisti Lavra now and 164 years ago

In 1853 a photographer climbed the wooden stairs of the monastery of Lavra with his heavy equipment to place his camera in front of this window overlooking the courtyard.
The photographer made this picture. The whole length of the eastside of the monastery is to be seen. From the window above in the corner of the building till the tower at the end.This is how it looks in May 2017. The cypress on the right is now 164 years older. Other cypresses died in the meantime. The domes and the main tower are still there. The slope of the hill is unchanged.

Herman Voogd

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1913 – Lavra now and around 1900

Megisti Lavra, May 2017 with on the left, behind the trees,  the tower of the arsanas. We tried to locate the exact spot where the black and white image below was taken. This is the best we could do.  Lavra, probably around 1880. The old cypress in the courtyard on the leftside is the only tree who survived over the years.
Herman Voogd

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1912 – May 10th: sunset at Ag. Basilou 

Yesterday in Chilandariou we went for a evening walk to Ag. Basiliou: an amazing place! And finally they removed the ugly and rusty scaffoldings at the South wall!Wim Voogd, 11/5

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1911 –  a Cessna flight above Athos 

Yesterday we flew over the Holy Mountain: here are two pictures of Arapis cape and Esfigmenou. Wim Voogd, 7/5

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