1697 – the interior of kelli of Father Alexi in Cucuvinu / Provata

After the “warm” welcome with a cup of coffee and old winter coats (see 1669), Father Alexi invited us in to have a look in his house.

DSCN5184 (Large)

DSCN5183 (Large)Pligrim Jitze communicates by writing his name on a notebook.DSCN5180 (Large)The house next to his kelli in ruins.

SAM_0965The hall of the kelliSAM_0966At the end of the corridor we found this small church with its iconostasis (and colorfull carpet!).DSCN5185 (Large)

DSCN5186The ceiling was impressive with its golden stars, the cherubim and an image of God

DSCN5186 - kopieDetail of the ceiling with God strenching his arms and blessing the ones below.DSCN5187In the narthex on the left a painting of the Panaghia arriving at the “Garden of the Holy Virgin” and men ánd women welcomming her.

DSCN5187 - kopieDetail of the last scene.DSCN5188 - kopieOn the right side there is an interesting scene of the Portatissa icon of Iviron, that appeared in the sea. Look at the monk that tries to get the icon, a group of people watching on land and the detailed way the arsanas, the farm near the coast and the monastery is painted (see below).DSCN5188 - kopie (2)

DSCN5188The Iviron monasteryDSCN5189 (Large)Above the door: a scene from the Dormition of the Holy Mother of God: “And, behold, while they were carrying her, a certain well-born Hebrew, Jephonias by name, running against the body, put his hands upon the couch; and, behold, an angel of the Lord by invisible power, with a sword of fire, cut off his two hands from his shoulders, and made them hang about the couch, lifted up in the air”.

SAM_0967The corridor

DSCN5190 - kopie (Large)In the corridor: an image of, according to his looks, Tsar Nicolas II (?)! As if time stood stil in this place!

DSCN5190 (Large)Detail of the Tsar portrait

text 2

SAM_0968Going to the first floor, the writer of this post follows Father Alexi

SAM_0969Cabinets and a dresser

DSCN5192 (Large)Looking outside towards the church

DSCN5193 (Large)On the dresser: a coffee grinder and another Russian tsar, Alexander the 3th.

textThe name in Cyrillic Rumanian, Alexander the 3th.

DSCN5191 (Large)Father Alexi really wanted us to see this beautiful stove, made in 1940: after seeing this room we went down again and had a look panoramic view of the surroundings on the terrace:

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DSCN5195 (Large)Father Alexi with a magnificant view of Antithonas and Lakkou from his terrace


DSCN5198 (Large)We said goodbye and thanked Father Alexi many times!

DSCN5199 (Large)To continue our walk to Provata.

Wim Voogd, 16/3

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8 Responses to 1697 – the interior of kelli of Father Alexi in Cucuvinu / Provata

  1. Sean Surlow says:

    How wonderful!!! You always see these old, interesting buildings in photographs, but rarely see such a great photo essay of the inside attached. What a great old man of God. What a privilege, stiff coat aside ;), to see all of that on Mount Athos in an “out of the way” place… The guy that got his hands cut off in the mural by causing mischief…had a happy ending… “The Jewish priest Athonios, out of spite and hatred for the Mother of Jesus of Nazareth, wanted to topple the funeral bier on which lay the body of the Most Holy Virgin Mary, but an angel of God invisibly cut off his hands, which had touched the bier. Seeing such a wonder, Athonios repented and with faith confessed the majesty of the Mother of God. He received healing and joined the crowd accompanying the body of the Mother of God, and he became a zealous follower of Christ.” Thanks Very Much for Posting such a Wonderful photo essay…
    Sean in California

  2. Bertinos says:

    Except for the pictures of Saint Nicholas II and of Czar Alexander III, the texts are interestingly enough in Romanian, but written in Cyrillic alphabet! This supposes that this kelli has been inhabitated by Romanians since at least the early 20th century.

    • alex says:

      Romanians used to use Cyrillic alphabet until the end of the 19th century.
      You can stiil find inscriptions in Cyrillic alphabet in the skiti Timiou Prodromou church.

  3. gerard koolschijn says:

    Very interesting item! Beautiful ‘primitive’ art, the painting (detail) of Iviron. Mr. Surlow’s explanatory story about the cut off hands was very welcome: if it was a priest-attack it makes sense (another name though). Is father Alexis alone? Did you learn anything about such a property? Does for example father Alexis represent a monasterial owner?

  4. athosweblog says:

    Father Alexis is indeed alone, although he recieves support from the young monks that live nearby in Provata. Provata lies on the land of Lavra, but I do not have more information about this subject.

  5. alex says:

    Yes, those are portraits of Nikolai the 2nd and his father Alexander the 3rd.

  6. silviucluci says:

    As I can see in this picture https://athosweblog.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/dscn5185-large.jpg (in the right), you have visited the cell of The Beheading of Saint John Forerunner. The Cucuvinu Cell is not far away and is under the protection of Saint John the Theologian. Both cell are inhabited since 19th century by romanian monks from Republic of Moldova.

  7. silviucluci says:

    As I can see in this picture https://athosweblog.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/dscn5185-large.jpg (in the right), you have visited the cell of The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist from Provata wich is not far away from Cucuvinu Cell, wich is under the protection of Saint John the Theologian.
    Here http://www.doxologia.ro/viata-bisericii/locuri-de-pelerinaj/chilia-sfantul-ioan-teologul-cucuvino-provata-asezaminte you can find one of my articles abous “real” Cucuvinu. Both cell are inhabited by romanian monks from Republic of Moldova since 19th century.

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