Old picture of skiti Andreou
On our first day of our 2015 Athos pilgrimage, 20th of September, we slept in Skiti Andreou, the former Russian convent, now inhabited by Greek monks. I remember walking past this large settlement for the first time in 1980: it was almost totally empty and deserted, no people, no sounds, a sence of decay and empytness, it gave me a creepy feeling. I did not dare to go in and have a look, a thing I really regret after so many years…..
But things changed in the meanwhile: nowadays the place is florishing and it is busy with people who live, work and pray there and with pilgrims who pay a visit. Buildings and churches are renovated and work is still in progress, although part of the buildings remains in ruin.
I decided to walk around the old buildings to see how it looked like from the outside. At first I ended up in the gardens.
I drew a plan of the buildings still in place. The plan is not professional, but usefull for this post.The plan of of Skiti Andreou or Serail. The entrance is at A, where our walk starts. Building B is the Athos school Athonias, E is the large church form 1900, J the smaller church that is renovated right now and G is the guesthouse. All these buildings will be shown to you in later posts (due to family circumstances I was not able publish frequently in the past weeks).
Let’s start with a picture of the entrance (A).The top of the roofs of the chapels and the church are recently being guilded. Above the entrance: the Saint Andreou and the “All seeing Eye”.
Right from the entrance: the soccer/basketball court of the Athonias school – B (also see 1232).The Athonias schoolIf you walk in the other direction from the gate (to the North) you will have to open a fence and soon after you will see these buildings on your right hand.A little bit futher: vines and a glasshouse in the garden of Andreou.
And then something special shows up, that I never seen before in any publication:Going down in the garden, a small phiale is hidden between the trees (C on the map)!The small phiale under the trees.The phiale with decorative marble carvings and eight pillars, build in 1902. And when you turn around you will see this:A well with fresh water running from the tap.A miniature chapel with the well behind it.Looking up from the well/phiale: the garden with the ruined part of Andreou and the top of the church.A picture in the North direction: ruins and builiding D on the map.Detail of a ruined house seen from the gardenSeen through the bushes: the top of a roof with a fine guilded cross.A well kept house in the lower parts of the garden.View from the garden to a nearby kellion with fine blue roof.In detail.Two other kellions seen from the garden.Left from the wooden white cross three pictures above: a small shed in the garden, see the red O below.Here you can see where I took pictures in the garden. P is the philae, O the shed above. The following five pictures below are from the left side of the garden (see X).Garden chapel at point X.The chapel is dedicated to Agios Filaretos o Eleimon.Next to the chapel lies a large water reservoir, under the sink roof (also spot X).The last photo of this post is taken on my way back to the main entrance at spot W: another water reservoir, carefully protected by a fence and nets.