1871 – The visit of Grigoriou (fourth day, fifth leg)

We walked down from Simonos Petras till the crossing where we left our luggage. At the crossing is a fountain and a stone bench. We drank greedily. There the path splits; to a broad path right down to the arsanas, the way we came, or a narrow monopati down to Grigoriou. It is a steep rocky descent to sea level. We sat at the shore, refreshed our feet, and rested a while on the little enclosed pebble beach, before starting the last stage of the day.4721-poell-op-het-padFrom our resting point the path rises again steadily. After a while you suddenly look down on the monastery. It is an easy ascent, not very steep. The path crosses an olive orchard and is surrounded by enormous cactuses. Here we see pilgrim Jacques with Grigoriou at his back.4725-gregoriou-2015The monastery, that is dedicated to Saint Nicholas, in its full glory. It looks very close from this point of view but the monopati changes into a broad dirt road which takes an easy way down via an inland detour that seems a long way.gregoriou-1853This is probably the first picture of Grigoriou ever taken. From the year 1853 by Ernest de Caranza & Emile Charles Labbé. The boathouse and the small building near it, which houses a little shop nowadays, open in the early evening, are already there. The colour of the picture is blue- white because I took it from a negative that was discoloured yellowish. I find it impressive to look realistically back in time for 163 years.4734-gregoriou-2015
After our arrival I took a walk around the monastery. I was curious about the vegetable garden behind the complex. The garden is terraced and has got several levels. I remembered how we left the monastery in winter time, when it was completely covered in a thick layer of snow. Here we are looking back to the monastery with a cupola and balconies like Simonos Petras, but of course much closer to sea level.4736-gregoriou-garden
It was the beginning of October when we pilgrimaged and there were still young and fresh vegetables. The leaves look almost transparent in the back sunlight. The rows are straight and look very professional. The soil is well prepared. A windshield protects the vulnerable plants. Hoses deliver water. Plenty of sunshine. This is a highly advanced garden which is taken care of with lots of love and knowledge. A quiet place to sit and contemplate.4753-gregoriou-2015Grapes hanging from a wall. The monastery was founded in the fourteenth century by St. Gregory. It is not easy to find a lot of history about the monastery. For sure, there have been raiders and of course there have been fires. There was even severe damage during the Greek revolution against the Turkish sultan in 1821. And that is a mere 32 years before the above picture was taken.4758-gregoriou
A subtle encircled sign of the Holy Spirit on the ceiling of the porch building.4759-gregoriouA view of the inner courtyard of Grigoriou. With a pergola with abundant grapes. And slim dark red painted accents.4772-kassandraThe monastery is well known for its hospitality and its organizational skills. Due to that popularity we were invited to sleep in an annexe of the Monastery, near the arsanas. There on the pier we watched the sun go down.4778-gregoriou-arsanas
Bas Kamps

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2 Responses to 1871 – The visit of Grigoriou (fourth day, fifth leg)

  1. Velimir says:

    I was in October. A wonderful place. Peace and quiet. Siluan father received us. Brother from Serbia.

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