684 – Konstamonitou

In 1997 we walked from Vatopediou to Konstamonitou. After passing the famous spot called Chera – “The Hand” we followed the rigde of the hill towards Paliopyrgos. We came to an open spot where timbermen cut all the trees.
Detail from the best map of Agios Oros by Ronald Zwerger, Wien, Austria

It showed out that the path did not continue – at least, we could’t find it. And from the place we were standing we could see the roof of the monastery we wanted to visit, Konstamonitou. Somebody in the group suggested to go through the bushes, it would be not more than 1 or 2 kilometers. I was somewhat reluctend, because I read stories of people leaving the path in Athos and never to be seen again. And for people who did not visit Mount Athos, I can assure you, the thickness of the bushes, trees and plants is sometimes amazing, it’s a sort of European “jungle”. We decided to take our changes and go.

A hazardous trip – 1997

After taking this decision my advice to others is: never do the same ! It took us almost 2 hours to get to the monastery and we had to struggle our way to get through. I wil never forget this hazerdous trip, gliding from 4/5 meter high waterfalls, being caught by the torns of plants and get totally exhausted in the end. When we finally arrived we looked like wild men.

When we arrived in the monastery I forgot to take pictures, so this the only one.
In the courtyard of Konstamonitou – 1997 (picture taken at 4 / H , see below)

Because we were not of the orthodox faith our possibilities in this monastery were limited. We were not allowed to join the monks at dinner and had to eat in the kitchen seperately. Furthermore the monks were not very friendly. This is the plan of the monastery:


1. entrance
2. Archondarikion (guesthouse)
3. Katholikon
4. Trapeza

A. Panaghias
B. Phiale
C. Clocktower (see picture above)
D. Ag. Nicolaos
E. Ag. Konstantinos / Ag. Eleni
F. Aghii Pantes
G. Cellars/storage
H. Library
J. Wine cellar
K. Hospital
L. Igumeneion (Abt’s place)
M. Prosforio
N. Maghirion (Kitchen)
P. Conference room

Wim, 22/1

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1 Response to 684 – Konstamonitou

  1. Fremaki says:

    Hi Wim !

    I have good news: the path you were looking for is now perfectly open: with a group of friends we found it last year and made it easily walkable, avoiding the riverbed where it’s difficult and hazardous.
    I can tell you the monks neither believed their ears when we told them we would do it, nor did they believe their eyes when we did it, in two days !
    With the help of the monks (particularly Fr. Avgoustinos), we’ve also put signposts both ways.

    This year we went even further and re-opened the path towards Vatopedi, which is in fact the straight continuation of the upgoing path : THIS PATH IS NOT ON ZWERGER’s MAP !!!

    Our plan for next year is to re-open the second path from Konstamonitou to the ridgeway and Vatopedi, and to conduct a survey evaluating the required amount of work in order to clear the whole ridgeway both ways (Karyès and Esphigmenou).

    If someone feels like helping with this project, feel free to contact me.

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