1627 – new ‘discovery’ on Athos: the forgotten kelli of Agiou Onoufriou

IMG_2296Athos keeps surprizing me! After the ‘discovery’of the abandoned kelli Timiou Stavrou in 1986, that has been inhabited now since 5 years by Father David, I thought I’d seen all forgotten and deserted settlements.

When I visited Filotheou in the past years I was puzzled by a large building that could be seen on the other side of the valley, in the direction of Iviron. On Tuesday September 2nd I passes this building on a close range, not realizing it was so near.


Two days later, on September 4th, we had to change plans because of the thunderstorms near the mountain, so we decided to go back to Karakalou monastery. From there I only had to walk 1 h.15 min v.v. to what showed to be “kelli Agiou Onoufriou”.

IMG_2372 (Large)A beautiful monopati leads from Filotheou to the kelli, only the last few hundred meters goes over a dirt road.

 IMG_2373 (Large)Soon after leaving the monopati, you can see a sign. Behind it you can see a wall, that is part of the original path that leeds to the kelli, which is blocked now by a pole and vegetation. I took the dirt road and soon saw this building:IMG_2303 (Large)The building is two stories high with a large church under a iron and rusted dome. The is one main entrance and another one in the backyard. Let’s have a closer look at the exterior.

IMG_2371 The facade of the kellion, with a wooden balcony.

IMG_2370The front door (which was locked).

IMG_2369Looking from the front door to Filotheou. Next to the main building is one storie high building where the backery and kitchen were found.



IMG_2304Behind the kitchen there is another building, standing alone, probably a shed for storage of equipment and tools.

IMG_2366the second building or shed ?


IMG_2309The interior of the second building/shed: it was too dangerous to go in, the wooden floors were rotted away.

IMG_2367I walked between the two buildings and saw an overgrown courtyard: under the overhanging balcony and between the bushes a second door was found.


IMG_2350Right to the second door there is an intact (!) toilet – the white building and the kitchen/backery

IMG_2358The second entrance, with the toilet building right. This entrance could be opened and I had look inside, whitch was amazing! Next time I will show you what I found.

IMG_2351To the left of the second door: on ground floor is a small chapel, on the first/second floor a relatively large church


IMG_2353And here is founding stone: build in 1881, as many Russian building are on Athos. This was very productive time for Russians on Athos and a lot of money was spend on erecting several places, like Panteleimonos, Skiti Prof Eliou, Palio Monastiro, Bogoroditsa, the Serail/skiti Andreou,  and Timiou Stavrou. Now another large building is added to the list of Russian settlements!

IMG_2354The back side of the main building, with an apse from the churches

IMG_2355The other side of the main building, with a strange reinforcement made of rough stones in the corner.

IMG_2356The reinforcement: in the wall above you see large cracks. Maybe this was build to prevent the building collapsing?

IMG_2348Here is the opened door, which gave me acces to the building. The amazing things I saw inside will be shown in a next post!

Here an example of what I found inside:


Wim, 23/9

PS: the pictures in this blog are of a minor quality, because the batteries of my Nikon camera were empty, so these pictures were shot with my iPhone-4 camera (with 5% battery left!).

This entry was posted in kellia, ruins, trip 2014 and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply