240 – Dionysiou 1986 II

After we met the Dutch archondicaris at Dionysiou we were invited to stay for the Easter-celebrations. We did not have to go to Karyes to get a new Diamoniterion or ask permission to the abbot of the monastery, the Dutchman said we could just stay, if we wanted. Two, three or four days extra, no problem ! We decided to stay two extra days. We also wanted to find out if we could buy a real Athos-icon, and the Dutch archondicaris advised us to go to Kareys and visit the Pachomaioi-brothers. And that’s what we did: we could leave our backpacks in Dionysiou and walk to Karyes.
Panoramic view of Karyes – 1986
The Protaton church in Karyes and the Holy Epistatia – 1986
We soon found the house of the Pachomaioi-brothers. It was very luxurious and full with newly painted icons. In the atelier we saw a large icon ment for a church in Australia. We could choose an icon from a book with pictures, but I allready had choosen mine. Because I’m a Dutchman and the Dutch (and Belgians) celebrate the children’s feast of Sinterklaas every year at the 5th of december, I wanted to have an icon of Agios Nikolaos. As you can see on this picture, the iconpainters had the icon I wanted in stock:
The icon of Ag. Nikolaos in the house of the Pachomaioi brothers, just outside Karyes, in the direction of Iviron -1986

We ordered our icons and after we left Athos we payed fl. 500,00 to somebody in Austria. It took allmost one year before the icons were ready and sent to Holland, but it was worth every penny, and the icon still hangs on a prominent place in my home.
Ag. Nikolaos painted by the Pachomaioi-brothers in 1986
My friend bought an icon of John the Baptist. A very beautifull icon of John is in Dionysiou:
Icon of John the Baptist in Dionysiou – 1986
This year an Athos-monk told me that I was lucky to have an icon form these two iconpainters, because they are famous now. The internet does not give me a lot of information, does anyone know more about who they are (Theophilos and Chrysostomos)?

Three years later we went to Mount Athos again and we visited the Agios Dimitrios basilic in Thessaloniki. I took a picture of this monk who was restoring a freco. Afterwards I heard rumours that it was the Pachomaioi-brothers who were renovating this church. Could that be true ?
Monk (Pachomaioi ?)restoring a fresco in the Ag. Dimitrios Thessaloniki – 1989

Next time more about our stay in Karyes.
Wim, 6/11

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3 Responses to 240 – Dionysiou 1986 II

  1. Martin says:

    Hello Wim, firstly i have to say that i enjoy your blog immensely and found a lot of useful information. As i currently plan my first trip to athos this june 2009, i wanted to ask you, if you know a good place to buy genuine athos icons on the peninsula these days. Is it still from the brothers described above, or from any specific monasteries?

    thanks in advance

  2. Wim says:

    Hello Martin, thanks for the compliment ! Besides the two monks of whom I bought my icon 23 years ago, I do not know of any places to buy icons, but there must be lots of them (especialy near Kavsokalivia). But the Pachomaio-brothers should be “top of the bill” quality, so I would try to find them again (near Karyes, in the direction of Iviron).
    Have a nice stay on Athos and to do tell us your story (or send photo’s!).

  3. VKB says:

    The Pachomaioi are by many accounts the best iconographers in the world today. The monks are wonderful gentlemen who still live on Mt. Athos. Their icons are very valuable. Whoever has on is blessed.

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