As mentioned before in our blog, things change rapidly on the Holy mountain. Here are five examples of some of the changes that I noticed on my pilgrimage this year:
1. The totall make-over of Paleo Monastir: Patriarch Kyrill and president Putin visited Athos last year to memorate the 1000th aniversary of Russians on Athos: many Russian buildings were completely renovated, such as the Panteleimon monastery. But I did not expect to find Paleo Monastir in this condition:it lookes like a golf course! 2009: what a difference!and this was not the only thing that changed here: the interior of the church, that once was completely white, is now covered with new wall paintings! More about these changes in a seperate blog.the old situation: internet photo – date unknown
2. Panteleimon renovations are finished:A picture of some annex buildings, that were almost in ruins a couple of years ago.At the some spot in 2009.Aerial picture 2017, made by me from a Cessna 6th of May.
3. the Georgians will soon be back on the Holy Mountain:
In Kolitsou, a small Rumenian settlement of seven cells between Pantocratoros and Vatopedi, a new cell is build (on a spot where an old building stood), and it will be used by monks from Georgia. Two centuries ago the Georgians still had their own monastery on Athos, IM Iviron. Since then it is a Greek monastery, but now the Georgians will, after so many years, return to the Holy Mountain!
4. the scaffoldings of Agiou Basiliou finally disappeared:New situation 2017old situation 2013
5. Maroudá is creating a new olive grove:New situation 2017Maroudá: vegatables grow in the kitchen garden, the old situation in 2015.
Wim Voogd, 27/5