1529 – Many crafts on holy ground

p leatherThese following pictures are made in the years 1860-70 when the Russian monastery of Panteleimonos was inhabited by large numbers of monks. The estimate is that, at that time,  more then 1500 monks lived in the monastery and the surrounding buildings.  Above a picture of a tannery. 15 monks with animals skins, probably goat or sheep. The first thing you ask yourself why are they loiden animal skins. It that for their own use or maybe for export. The other question is of course where did they obtains the skins. It is clear that they didn’t get the skins from Mount Athos itself because there is no tradition of hurding skeep or goats on the peninsula. So skins had to be supplied from the mainland.p labatoryHere you see a kind of labatory. Is it a pharmacy?                                                                       p smitThis is the home of the blacksmith of Panteleimonos. Blacksmith furnaces. Again you are wondering: what did they make? Probably horseshoes, iron things for construction I guess. It is increasingly clear that in that period in the Russian monastery the monks are completely selfsupporting. There was enough space to accomodate all these workplaces as you can see here.  Is this the chimney of the furnace? p slotenmakerThis is a turning lathe. A  device to process iron objects such as candleholders visible on the left of the image. Notice that every studio or workplace in these pictures shows many monk workers.  You can imagine that in the late 19th century Panteleimonos was a selfsupporting village.
knopen 2Nowadays when visiting the monastery the first thing that you notice that it is a very large complex of buildings. But no more studios or workingplaces to be seen. In 2011 we saw these nodes or buttons laying on the floor of one of the ruins of Panteleimonos (photos by Bas Kamps). If all these crafts where present in the monastery then there where  surely also tailors. I could not find a 19th century picture of tailors working in the monastery but this has to be the tailors studio.

knopen 1


Tailors: Could this be in the monastery of Panteleimonos or is it in  Skiti Andreou?


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1 Response to 1529 – Many crafts on holy ground

  1. Gert-Jan Wiekart says:


    Great stories and pictures!
    The blog keeps my memories of Athos vivid.

    Thanks & kind regards,

    Gert-Jan Wiekart

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