810 – Zealots clash with police at Mount Athos

This is near Chromitsa. (Nikolas Giakoumidis / AP)
27th may
Police and coast guard officials are on standby today at Ouranoupolis and Ierissos, the two port connections to Mount Athos in northern Greece, following clashes yesterday with a crowd of demonstrators who tried to force their way into the monastic community to join a group of rebel monks for an annual religious celebration.

Around 30 protesters tried to break through a police cordon and gain access to Mount Athos to express support for the ultra-Orthodox monks who have been illegally occupying the Esphigmenou Monastery since 2002 when they fell out with the Istanbul-based Ecumenical Patriarchate. Supporters of the zealot monks, who were declared schismatic for violently opposing attempts to mend a rift between the Orthodox and Catholic churches, have tried to break into the monastery every year since 2002, always ahead of Ascension Day, celebrated 40 days after Easter.
text by Kathimerini.
Near Nea Roda – may 27th 2009

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6 Responses to 810 – Zealots clash with police at Mount Athos

  1. Georgios says:

    Hi there! (or otherwise “evlogite!”

    I found your site by checking the “coming from”-links of my blogvisitors.
    I show that you have some of my photos also and a link to my blog Thanks! 🙂

    I looked just for a while through the textes and the photos and it’s so much information here!
    It also makes me feel anxiety to visit Athos again!

    Keep on the good work. I am visiting you again soon to go through the hole site.

    Where are you from by the way? Are you greeks?

  2. Herman Voogd says:

    Many thanks Georgios. You’ve have made some beautiful photo’s.
    We are Dutch see post nr. 500:

  3. Geo says:

    These Zealots are turning this event into an annual sport.
    Im sure their cause would best be served outside of Athos all they do is create chaos and animosity amongst a place that has existed in harmony for over a thousand years.

  4. Irina says:


    Thank you for keeping this log because women are not allowed on the island, it was very interesting for me to see your photo diaries.

    I just wanted to comment that the “mysterious place” you were talking about is not Ukranian but Russian and the booklet you are showing is also in Russian but in Russian before the revolution (i.e. before 1917), so the letters look a little different from now days Russian.

    Thank you again for all the work you did, so people can enjoy and learn more about this island.


    Irina Komarov

  5. Vasilis says:

    I am not an expert and I don’t prefer a political discussion. But, if the monks came from Odessa, they are Ukrainian I think. That also fits with the text. Because as far as I am informed the writing of the booklet is really Ukrainian and not Russian (before 1917). But Pentzikis speaks about ‘Russians in this area’.

  6. Wim says:

    Thanks Irina for your input. These kinds of compliments (of a woman) gives us a reason to continue our blog!
    I do know that the monks started their journey to Mount Athos in Odessa (from there they went to Constantinople, then to Jeruzalem and finally to Mount Athos: I found there passports on the floor), but does the text of the booklet gives us any more indications about their nationality ?
    greetings, Wim

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