2007 – The main square in Karyes

The main square in Karyes is where the bus from Dafni stops, where pilgrims take minibuses to the monasteries, do their shoppings, drink coffee or an Amstel while waiting for the buses. It can be very busy when the buses arrive or leave. But also very quiet when all the pilgrims have left  on their way to the monasteries. This is in 2015.The square in 1918 by Fernan Cuville with the Holy Mountain in the background. Cuville was standing a little higher on the same road that you see on the photo above.Pilgrims leaning on their sticks. The square is also the place where all the distribution of goods and food for the monasteries starts.Behind the shops with the red rooftops is a very tiny patio which has the shape of a triangle, clearly to be seen in the aerial view. With an old vine and wooden balconies its very different compared with the sometimes hectic atmosphere of the square. This is the situation in 2017.

Herman Voogd

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2006 – Vatopedi, a closer look at the main gate

The main entrance to Vatopedi monastery (Δ on the plan) have been subject in many posts on our weblog. Today we wil take closer look at the gate and I will show you some detailed pictures. This is a plan of the main gate to the monastery:On the picture below you can see that the renovation of the characteristic coloured glass panels in the entry baldachin (Δ1) were conducted in May 2017 .The fountain that is used by pilgrim Jitze is at spot B1 on the plan. The marble fountain dating from 1884. Behind it (B7) is the open cisterne.The baldachin whit the panels where the coloured glass is placed: on the photo below the situation in 2013,Picture of the coloured glass panels from 2013: behind the entrance you can see the tower of Prodromos (E on the plan), with a homonymous chapel in it (k).The dome of the baldachin, with its impressive wall paintings. Bright blue colors dominate the scenes. In the middle of the dome Trinity, with Christ, God the Father and the Holy Gost, a dove in  a shining light, and in between them the moon, sun and stars. They are surrounded by numeral Saints. Above the gate with red and white bricks you can see a painting of the Panaghia with Christ as a child, well protected by a glass case.In the four corners of the dome you see these paintings: Maria (in a brown and blue dress) with the Holy GostApostel Ioseph (in green clothes) writing a text A Saint, also writing a textDetail: a painting in blue and white, almost like Delftware painting on Dutch tiles and pottery. In the fourth corner: an angel The glass panels still in situ in the baldachin.The main gate with its iron doors. Behind it, on the right, the gate keeper in his office (Δ2)Pilgrims have to check in here, to verify their reservations  The gate keepers place seen from the other side, with fine (new) paintings of the Vatopedi monastery on the walls.The aerial view of the monasteryDetail of the gate on the paintingAireal picture of the gate, made by me in May 2017Detail from an old engraving: here you see that the entrance has been moved. On the plan above you can see the former main gate at spot Δa.The second gate with doors, build 1896 (see Γ4 on the plan)Above the second gate: a mosaic of angel Gabriel and the PanaghiaOn the right side of the second entrance : a hidden painting behind glass, difficult to see (attached to the tower of Prodromos).

NB. At Γ1 and Γ2 on the map above used to be the kitchen and bakery (situation 1980). Nowadays these facilities are moved to the East wing, near the trapeza/refectory.

Next time more about the Vatopedi courtyard.

Wim Voogd, 30-6

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2005 – An African King from the Ivory Coast has been baptised Greek Orthodox

Tribal King Tchiffi Zae Jean Gervais from the Ivory Coast has been baptised Greek Orthodox by a monk at the Monastery of Koutloumousiou in June 2018.  Photo taken at Kaliagra arsanas by theorthodoxchurch.info. More here.

Herman Voogd

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2004 – Semantrons in skites

AnnaKafsokalivia  Protaton AndreouProdromou

Bas Kamps

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2003 – Aural icons of Orthodoxy

Aural icons of Orthodoxy, that is what the semantrons of Mount Athos are. Despite the differences between the monasteries and sketes they have several things in common. Among them the semantron, an essential tool to announce to call the monks for prayer. And it is the only musical instrument allowed in the monks republic. According to some historians the semantron has replaced the trumpet, that was used in Mount Sinaï in the 6thcentury, as a call for prayer. This is how it sounds.

The semantron was used during Ottoman times, because the ringing of bells was outlawed. After the Ottomans left, the custom stayed.

On my last pilgrimage in 2017 I tried to make a photographic collection of semantrons. And now in retrospect I looked into my collection to find out whether I have taken more pictures of semantrons and mallets. That’s the way it works with collections, once started you want to complete them.

And we added the pictures of Herman and Wim. We still need Xiropotamou, Xenophontos and Panteleimonos. You can send your picture of a lacking Athonian semantron to the webmaster. And we will gratefully add it to this collection.

We present them in the order of the rank of the monasteries:01 Lavra. Picture taken in 2017 by Bas Kamps.02 Vatopedi Picture taken in 2017 by Wim Voogd03 Iviron. Picture taken in 2015 by Bas Kamps.
04 Chilandariou  Picture taken in 1997 by Wim Voogd.05 Dionysiou. Picture taken in the winter of 2014/5 by Bas Kamps. 06 Koutloumousiou.  Picture taken in 2013 by Bas Kamps.07 Pantocratoros. Picture taken in 2013 by Herman Voogd

08 Xiropotamou

09 Sografou  Picture taken in 1980 by Wim Voogd.10 Docheiariou. Picture taken in 2011 by Bas Kamps.11 Karakallou.  Picture taken in 2013 by Bas Kamps.12 Filotheou. Picture taken in 2009 by Wim Voogd.13 Simonos Petras. Picture taken in 2015 by Bas Kamps.14 Paulou. Picture taken in 2014/15 by Bas Kamps.15 Stavronikita. Picture taken in 2015 by Bas Kamps.

16 Xenofontos

17 Grigoriou. Picture taken in 2011 by Bas Kamps.18 Esfigmenou. Picture taken in 2017 by Bas Kamps.

19 Panteleimonos

20 Konstamonitou.Picture taken in 2009 by Herman Voogd.

Bas Kamps

Posted in 01 Lavra, 02 Vatopedi, 03 Iviron, 04 Chilandariou, 05 Dionysiou, 06 Koutloumousiou, 07 Pantocratoros, 08 Xiropotamou, 09 Sografou, 10 Docheiariou, 11 Karakallou, 12 Filotheou, 13 Simonos Petras, 14 Paulou, 15 Stavronikita, 16 Xenofontos, 17 Grigoriou, 18 Esfigmenou, 19 Panteleimonos, 20 Konstamonitou | Tagged , | Leave a comment

2002 – two consecutive fires in two days near Chilandariou

Another fire broke out yesterday on Mt. Athos near the Serbian Chilandariou Monastery, reports orthochristian.com.

This is the second day in a row for such news. Yesterday a fire broke out in the early afternoon on Wednesday (6/6) and was quickly brought under control. Thursday’s fire began around 4:30 PM in a low-vegetation area of Mt. Athos near the settlement of Agiou Basiliou, and near the site of the previous day’s fire. 20 firefighters in 7 trucks, with another 14 people on foot and two firefighting aircraft fought the fire.

As of last evening (7/6), it was reported that there were no winds in the area and that they hoped to extinguish the fire soon.Fire of 6th of June near Chilandariou

There have been many lightning strikes in the area lately, with many small fires breaking out. There are many fires on Mt. Athos in general in the summer, where the inaccessible terrain often makes them difficult to put out, according to the site of Hilandar Monastery.Since suffering a large fire in 2004 that burned half of the monastery’s buildings, Hilandar has had a firefighting team on duty all year round, consisting of monks and novices who have been fully trained.

Wim Voogd, 8/6

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2001 – The katholikon of Panteleimonos in one century


1917 French army photographer Millet.1918 French army photographer Fernand Cuville.
19441948 La sainte Montagne1969 Jan Paul ten Bruggencate. A year before, in 1968, a big fire destroyed the entrance section  and the guesthouse and left half of the monastery in ruins.1970 Wim Oudshoorn. The entrance.
1971 dr. Exadaktylos. On the left the destroyed guesthouse.1980 Wim Voogd
2009 Bas Kamps

2017 Wim Voogd. A complete makeover of the monastery came to an end this year.

Herman Voogd

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