1209 – Athos in 1967: photos from a Dutch pilgrim

One of our readers, Jan Paul ten Bruggencate, was so kind to share his experiences and photos from a time that hardly any visitors came to Mt. Athos, because it was not easy for non-orthodox to get a permit. First you had to go to your consulate in Thessaloniki, were you to explain your reasons for a visit (with a letter of recommandation) and the consul had to judge if you were “men of good caracter”, that ment, that you were not hippies. According to Jan Paul only 10 pilgrims – orthodox and non-orthodox – were allowed to enter Athos every day in 1967!009 DafniThe port of Dafni, with small motorboats, Greek “Kaiks”, still with masts: 17th of August 1967. Look at the old bus on the left.

After handing over a box of Dutch Willem III cigars, things went easy and three letters were given to you, one for the Ministery of Northern Greece (mrs. Kalivapoulou), one for the foreign police and one to join your passport, which you hand over on the boat to Dafni and which was given back in Karyes, together with your Diamoniterion. Mr. ten Bruggencate visited Athos from August 17th to 20th 1967 (a few months after the Colonels’ Coup of 21 April 1967).010 Dafni russian metropoliteOn the pier of Dafni, the Metropolitan of Leningrad, Nikodim, after saying goodbye to the monks of Panteleimonos. The young Metropolitan pleaded in vain to get Russian novices to the Russikon, the Greek generals didn’t allow it. History learns that Nikodim was a KGB agent, working under the codename Adament (source wikipedia). Thirteen years later, in 1980, only 8 monks survived from the 3.000 Russians that once lived in this “grand” monastery, two of them being Greek.011 Dafni russian metropolite17th of August 1967: Nikodim in Dafni, customs office012 Karyes ProtatonNikodim in Karyes, with official clothing for a ceremony in the Protaton

007 TenBc Metropoliet Nikodim op trap Epistatia Karyes 17-08-1967
Nikodim of Leningrad on the stairs of the building of Holy Epistatia (Koinotis)

019 near Karyes
The small church near Karyes, seen from the road to Iviron. Nowadays this church painted with a bright blue/green color.020 road to Iviron17th of August 1967: walking the gravel road to Iviron, with Mt. Athos in the background, with Jan Paul ten Bruggencate on the left (with short sleeves, nobody warned him in advance!).010 TenBc Iviron18-08-196718th of August 1967: panoramic view of Iviron: it took 6,5 hours to walk to Lavra!011 TenBc Kalives op weg van Iviron naar Lavra 18-08-1967Kathismata (small house for one monk) on the road to Lavra. Stavronikita and Pantocratoros in the background.

012 TenBc Dionysiou 19-08-1967
19th of August 1967: by boat from Lavra to Dionysiou.013 TenBc guestrooom Dionysiou 19-08-196719th of August 1967: the guestroom of Dionysiou, with a portrait of King Constantine II still on the wall, who was forced to flee Greece on the 13th of December 1967.014 TenBc kitchen Dionysiou 19-08-1967The tradional kitchen of Dionysiou with a wood fire015 TenBc Kitchen Dionysiou 19-08-1967The Archondaris of Dionysiou016 TenBc Dionysiou fresco trapeza 19-08-1967Fresco from the Trapeza of Dionysiou017 TenBc Dionysiou fresco trapeza 19-08-1967Mr. Ten Bruggencate and his friends in the trapeza of Dionysiou, with famous frescos behind them.

I would like to express many thanks to mr. Jan Paul ten Bruggencate for sharing these unique pictures. I also would to wish him a good trip to Mt. Athos this year, because he explained to me that this might be his last visit to the Holy Mountain, because of his health and age. Mr. ten Bruggencate is a blessed man to be able to visit Athos at his age of 80 and that he still is able to walk the Athos paths as much as possible!

Wim Voogd, 30-3

(NB. later more pictures of other Athos trips of Jan Paul ten Bruggencate will follow)

This entry was posted in 05 Dionysiou, Karyes. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to 1209 – Athos in 1967: photos from a Dutch pilgrim

  1. Bertinos says:

    The correct title of the Orthodox Bishop of a large city (“Metropolis”) is Metropolitan [Cosmopolitan is a magazine ;-)]. I is true that opinions about him are rather outspoken in favour or against him, but have little to do with him being a KGB-agent. Everyone playing an active role in the Church was somehow forced to “collaborate” with the Soviet regime or/and was somehow persecuted.
    PS: I’m surprised to see that short sleeves were allowed in the trapeza of Dionysiou back then!

  2. Vasílis says:

    Good to save these pictures and the story!

  3. athosweblog says:

    Dear friends, the foto’s of Jan Paul ten Bruggencate in post 1209 and 1214 are newly edited!

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