On our 2015 pilgrimage to Athos I made a reservation to stay at Fathers Nikon’s house in Nea Skiti. After leaving Simonospetras we took the Agia Anna boat to Nea Skiti. This photo essay shows you the time we spent here. At the time of our visit Father Nikon was in Skiti Xenofontos, planning to move to this other location. One year later, in 2016, Father Nikon and his fellow monks left Nea Skiti and they settled on their new place on the Holy Mountain. The – former – kellion of Father Nikon The balcony of the house, totally overgrown by vinesThe balconyEvery afternoon at five the monks gather to say a prayer on the balcony. We planned to sleep one night at Father Nikon’s place and spend the next night at the kellion of Danilion in Katounakia. Because there was no possiblity to make a reservation in advance we tried to get overnight sleep there, but unfortuanately the place was fully booked. That’s why we returned to Nea Skiti. The only thing was that they only could give us two beds, the rest was already taken by other pilgrims. So I was offered two alternative places to sleep on a camping matras: in church or on the balcony. I chose to sleep on the balcony, a beautiful and quiet spot, overlooking the sea.The church where I could sleep….Iconostasis in Father Nikon’s churchListening to the prayers and singingThe room next to the church, with icons for sale. Look how old the house is: the room is propped up by poles !The icon workshop of father EugeniosOne of his iconsFather Eugenios the icon painter: he prefers to speak GermanFather Eugenios in the kitchenCoffee with cake is being served in the small kioskThe kiosk, where coffee was served and where you smoke your cigarette/sigarThe striking blue door to Father Nikon’s houseThe church just below Father Nikon’s house: The church below Nikon’s house: it is build in 1931The main church in Nea Skiti with a bell towerThe bell tower
inside the bell towerNea Skiti, the bell tower with a semantron. The picture points to the North, with Father Nikon’s house in the right cornerNikon’s house seen from the bell towerThe exo narthex of the main churchAbove the entrance door of the church: a painting of Agia AnnaColoured glass in the doorThe courtyard in front of the main churchwith a haut relief marble stone in the floorThe terrace in front of the churchTogether with a Greek pilgrim we went down to see the arsanas, but first I had a closer look at the Grand Tower of Nea SkitiMules and the towerThe old tower (the South wall), with uggly scaffoldings.The tower (the North wall)The tower (West wall and entrance)The door of the towerThe harbor and beach of Nea Skitithe polluted beach ….Mules bring goods and grapes down.I always wondered what this object near the sea might have been. I found the answer later that afternoon when I studied a book in Father Nikon’s library.In Grassi’s book I found this picture from Nea Skiti:And when you zoom in you’ll see this:A lighthouse ! The monks of Nea Skiti confirmed to me that there used to be such a lighthouse in sea.
Read more about the fire that took place that same afternoon on post 1764.
Wim Voogd, 29-1