1732 – the oldest tree on Athos ?

Every pilgrim who visited Athos and the Great Lavra monastery is impressed by the two large cypress trees in front of the refectory. The monastery was founded in  963, so the trees might be more than 1000 years old (see post Cypress tree Lavra), photo 2007.216 Athos 2007 Lavra kapiteel (Large)But there is another old monastery, founded in the second half of the 10th century by Euthymios (supposedly a disciple of Athonasios the Athonite of Lavra), called Docheiariou. Here you can also find two very large cypresses, the only problem is, you can hardly see them or find them.DSCN2835 (Large) While standing on the pier no large cypresses can be seen.IMG_2437 (Large)Even when you pass the monastery by boat is hard to find the two trees. If you zoom in the picture you see the two trees behind the tower, on the right (photo 2014).

IMG_2438 (Large)This is why I had wanted to examine the gardens behind the monastery during my visit in 2013.

From my room I had this view on the trees.DSCN2844 (Large)I walked around the gardens and found a path to climb up.DSCN2811 (Large)DSCN2812 (Large)And finally I reached the place where the trees where growing:

DSCN2810 (Large)   DSCN2813 (Large)

And when I reached the spot I was surprized by the sheer size of the trunks!DSCN2814 (Large)DSCN2815 (Large)These huge trees are just as large, or even maybe larger, then the Lavra cypresses! According to me it is undecided where the oldest tree on Athos could be, but I think the Docheiariou trees make a good chance!DSCN2816 (Large)The trees seen from a greater distance (with the ugly construction crane, when will they remove this red monster?)

Wim, 9/7

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4 Responses to 1732 – the oldest tree on Athos ?

  1. gerard koolschijn says:

    Nice search, mr Wim!
    Did the monks themselves tell anything about the history of the trees? The monastery was founded from the Lavra as far as I know.

    • athosweblog says:

      No, on the contrary, there was no contact about this subject: the monks did not want me to take pictures of the trees, they ‘asked’ me to leave the gardens as soon as possible!

      • Sean Surlow says:

        That is too bad…I think, sometimes, people don’t realize what you are doing is Very Positive… That you are trying to make a historical record and appreciate them and their lifestyle. I think, they get worried that you are invading their privacy and might use the photographs in a negative way. I sometimes too have gotten this reaction with people. So I try, when possible, to set the ground work socially, before I photograph. It is so much easier if everyone understands what you are doing, and they will even try to help you more in those situations… But, that takes more work and time…and is not always easy to do… Keep up the good work…

  2. Florin Niculescu says:

    the forest engineer can tell you how old are this cypres. with https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Increment_borer

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