1883 – The arsanas of Simonos Petras

In post 1859 and 1865 I showed you our visit to Simonos Petras in 2015 and the warm welcome we received in Simonos Petras from father Michael from Libanon. When we left in the morning of September 21th 2015 he gave me two presents, a CD with the service of Saint Simon, sung by the choir of Athonite fathers, and the Athos book from the Greek artist Fotis Zachariou, “Athos, Impressions and Memories”. A pleasant surprise!

Our aim was to reach Nea Skiti this day, so we had to walk down to the harbour, the arsanas of Simonos Petras. dscn7178-largeThe path leading down to the arsanas.dscn7179-largeHalf way a small chapel shows up, where pilgrims can take a rest.dscn7180-largeThe wall painting from 1862 in the chapeldscn7208-largeThe arsanas with the defence towerarsanas-simonospetras-1kopieFrom Google maps:

  • A. the pier
  • B. boathouse 1
  • C. the defence tower
  • D. boathouse 2
  • E. the farmhouse

13-simonos-petra-6-arsanaskopieHere a more detailed map from the Mylonas atlas, with the same buildings with the letters A to E. I also added the letter F, read more about this below. Let’s first have a look at the pier: dscn7214-largeNext to the pier is a large building, what I named boathouse 1, (B) on the map. The ground floor must have been the original – old – boathouse, that is not in use anymore. Along the beginning of the pier you see a recently renovated balcony, a good place to rest or to take shelter.dscn7195-largedscn7181-largeThe old boathouse next to the pier. A wall, rocks and pebbles nowadays prevent that the building is in use. Let’s take look inside: dscn7182-largeInside the boathouse: a large copper screw shaft, a cement mill and rubbishdscn7185-largeIn the niche is a concrete pole to tie ropes todscn7183-largeLooking back at the entrance of the boathouse: on both sides numerous holes in the wall can be seen: might there have a wooden floor at 1,5 meter above the ground ? DSCN7193 (Large).JPGFrom the balcony (in the right corner above) you can peer through the glass windows and have a look at the first floor:dscn7186-largedscn7187-largeThe large room that also newly renovated: to my surprize the interior looked like a room where a sailor school could be established (?), with large ropes, examples of different knots and ship’s wheel. dscn7201-largeThe roof of boathouse 1, seen from the tower, in black and white, with a large laurel tree above it. If you need any Athos laurel to bring home, go here!

The tower (C) was closed, so I could only take some photo’s of the exterior:dscn7194-largeThe balcony on the left and the tower. Notice the young palm tree: within a couple of years this tree will be an important landmark for this arsanas!

At the top of the tower in its corners: bird- and plant like figures.dscn7197-largedscn7212-largeThe closed iron door in the towerdscn7198-largedscn7198A marble stone with a carved hand reaching out a cross with four round figures with symbols. On both sides an arrow pointing upwards (on the left) and downwards (?) on the right. Beneeth it a text in Greek. Can anyone help me with the translation the text?

The next building I will show you boathouse 2 (D on the map above). In contrast with the tower and boathouse 1, this property is not renovated.dscn7188-largedscn7191-largeThis is what happens when concrete is used in combination with iron near the salty seaside: rust devours the columns! dscn7192-largeThis is the entrance for boats to the second boathouse.dscn7190-largeThe interior of the second boathouse: these colums als suffer from carbonation!dscn7189-largeAt the end of the monopati from the monastery you will see this old farmhouse (E on the map). Behind it is a garden with fruit trees still in situ.

Two more pictures of the almost ruined farmhouse E. In the garden I found a small cavern: might it be used to keep animals?

And finally I will show you two photos of object F, that can be found in a garden opposite of building E.dscn7209-largeDSCN7211 (Large).JPGThe object in the garden is half round, about one meter wide and high and three meters long: maybe it was used to store food or fruit in a cool place? I have seen these kind of repositories in Scandinavia, where they put ice in during winter time to keep stock fresh. Might it served the same purpose here? dscn7210-largeThe garden with fruit treesdscn7216-largeWaiting for the ferry Agia Anna to arrive at one o’clock. It brought us to Nea Skiti for € 1,90 a person.

Next time I will show you pictures from Nea Skiti.

Wim Voogd, 18-1-2017

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2 Responses to 1883 – The arsanas of Simonos Petras

  1. silviucluci says:

    Thank you for the article. Here http://www.doxologia.ro/locuri-de-pelerinaj/arsanaua-manastirii-simono-petra is my article about the arsanas of Simonos Petras.

  2. Vasílis says:

    I do have some idea regarding the inscription. It says that this tower is rebuild by an important person (aga) (name Kyros, Cyrus?). It is difficult to read, also the date (indiction), but I know dat it is the oldest inscription of the monastery from 1567.

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