The almost completely restored Russian monastery of Panteleimonos will be the place where the festivities 1016 – 2016 will take place. The first Russian monastery on Mount Athos was founded during the rule of Holy Prince Vladimir. The earliest written mention of it dates back to February 1016. This photo taken in 2015.
This photo was taken in 1917, the year of the revolution in Russia and the start of the decline of the monastery. But after the fall of Sovjet Russia religion came back and the monastery gradually became popular again.
In 2015 Russian pilgrims had already t-shirts with 1016 -2016 printed on it.
For the special celebration in 2016 ruins are restored, bricks are replaced, balconies are build, roads are paved, windmils and solarcells are placed and house are rebuild.
There are even mules now to help the pilgrims with their luggage. Here they are walking freely in the dry riverbed beside the monastery not far from Silouans watermill.
This seems like a big crowd on the pier but I suspect there will be many more Russian pilgrims this year on Mount Athos. But there will be enough accomodation because the guesthouses are huge.
Detail of one of the freshly painted churches with the Virgin in blue.
Text and photos by Herman Voogd. Black and white photo by Millet.