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

Posted in 06 Koutloumousiou, news, Orthodoxy | Tagged | 1 Comment

2004 – Semantrons in skites

AnnaKafsokalivia  Protaton AndreouProdromou

Bas Kamps

Posted in Kavsokalivia, Prodromou, Skiti Andreou, Skiti Anna | Tagged | Leave a comment

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

Posted in 04 Chilandariou, news | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in 19 Panteleimonos | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

2000 – Rembrandt on Athos

This year I will visit Athos in September for the 12th time. Xenofontos, Grigoriou and Pavlou are monasteries that I visited before, but I never stayed over.  Unfortunately Xerapotamou declined our request for an overnight in their monastery. This will be my next goal for the Athos 2019 pilgrimage!

A couple of years ago I started bringing small gifts to present to the guestmasters of the monasteries where we stayed the night. Bringing a gift is not nessesary, but I think it is nice thing to do, especcialy of you bring something of interest of your own country . So on my pilgrimage to Athos I brought seeds from Holland for the gardener to grow vegatables in his kitchen garden, but also flower seeds and tulips from Amsterdam.

Last year I took some old copies from etches of Rembrandt with religious scenes. Ofcourse they were not as valuable as the original ones, but the copies were more then 100 years old – printed in 1904 – and of good quality. One of them was the so called “hundred guilder” print.  The Hundred Guilder Print is an etching by Rembrandt from ca 1646, depicting multiple events from the Gospel of Matthew 19. The story goes that Rembrandt wanted to buy back a copy of the engraving and had to pay the enormous amount of one hundred guilders

The etch shows Christ (in the middle) healing the sick, on the left in the background are some scribes and Pharisees discussing with each other about the man they are looking at in a somewhat disparaging way, Peter (with beard) tries to stop some women who want their children to be blessed, but Jesus gestures them forward. Next to Peter, with his hand in front of his mouth, is the rich young man who has just been told that a place in heaven is not reserved for him, despite his virtuous lifestyle. He must first give his wealth to the poor. The rich young man mentioned in the chapter is leaving through the gateway on the right.

The librarian of Vatopedi received the gift in gratitude. I hope he will like it, because the art of Rembrandt is so different from the Byzantine art tradition. The librarian gave me permission to have a look in the new library and to make some pictures (NB. the old historical books are placed in a different, second library , under the clocktower).reading room in the library of Vatopedi New and older books on the shelvesCabinets full with books: in the background modern mobile storage cabinetsThe foreign books section: books about Athos in German, English and Russian (and more languages)The Vatopedi library (A) can be reached by taking the stairways to the second floor sea side, near the Katholicon (C) see the red arrow. B is the trapeza. The Vatopedi library on the second floor

Wim Voogd, 21/05

Posted in 02 Vatopedi, books, trip 2017 | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

1999 – Risky erosion in the arsanas of Néa Skiti

We had to wait for the boat that would take us to Dafni. We were early so we had time to look around. If you look up from the harbour you see impressive vertical formations. Just above the cliffs you see little houses, where people live. Not suitable for monks with fear of heights.A closer look. Safety measures have been taken, there are some fences. But the erosion is intense in this part of Athos. It is not the marble of the Holy Mountain, this is sandstone. The erosion combined with the probability of earthquakes makes a poisonous cocktail. Check the frequency of earthquakes in Greece here. There are so many small earthquakes in this part of the Mediterranean.The same building taken from the other side. It is as scary from this perspective.Some of the houses look like the dwellings of the hermits in Karoulia. It is as steep and remote as well. This morning everything was peaceful and quiet. Only the continuous noise of the sea and a finch was heard. Some research learned that this is a chaffinch (thanks to Herman).The advantage of sitting and waiting and wondering around is that more life can be seen. With each wave this crab disappeared under the foam of the waves.And there she was at last: the Agia Anna approaching silently and lowering her tailgate as an invitation to us waiting on the pier. She gracefully accepted us as Jona in the whale.

Bas Kamps

Posted in Nea Skiti, trip 2017 | Tagged , , | Leave a comment