1391 – Sons of Tsars

No Russian Tsar ever visited the Holy Mountain. But Tsar Nicolas I en Tsar Alexander II send their sons to the Holy Mountain. In 1845 Grand Duke Konstantin Nikolaevich, son of Nicolas I, made a tour and went to Panteleimonos and several other monasteries such as Sografu and Esfigmenou.

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Son of Alexander II, Grand Duke Aleksey Aleksandrovich, seated in the middle, came to Panteleimonos on june 16th 1867.  This was the time that Panteleimonos had both Greek and Russian inhabitants. The abbot Gerasimos was Greek and there was a lot of controversy between Russians and Greeks as Nicholas Fennell discribes in his excellent book The Russians on Athos. The Grand Duke laid the foundation stone of the central church of the Russian skete of St. Andrew. With the laying of the stone the Greek writer Smyrnakis wrote that the ceremonie took  place in the presence of the members of the Holy Koinotis ” who were amazed at the deliberate violation of Athonite protocol” but said nothing through respect for the vistors’s exalted rank.

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