1962 – The historical red balcony of Simonos Petras is gone forever!

The entrance of Simonos Petras at the back of the monastery in 1917 with on the right the red balcony. Because the front on the monastery is so spectacular the back is not that much photographed. The same spot, but now in color,  and 100 years later. Renovations are in full swing. But the walls and the aqueduct already look like new. The red balcony looks untouched.
In 1989 we posed on the red balcony. The mortar or specie between the stones of the wall is not yet that perfect as it is in 2017.  By the way, a little bit to perfect for me, I like the 1917 style.This is how it looks, standing on the red balcony, looking into the valley.
The red balcony during the 2000 flood. Photo by Theodosios of Simonopetra.
This is how the water came down the hills in Oktober 2000. Photo by Theodosios of Simonopetra.
papaloukas 1923 24 the red balcony
In 1923/24 the great Greek painter Spyros Papaloukas depicted the entrance of Simonas Petras and the typical red balcony in his own unique style.
jan 2018 entrance simonospetras
January 2018 this picture appeared on Facebook. They destroyed the nice red balcony which was at least 100 years old replacing it with concrete and a terrible new entrance. WHY???

Herman Voogd

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15 Responses to 1962 – The historical red balcony of Simonos Petras is gone forever!

  1. This monastery looks like Heaven on earth. Wow. Beautiful. I can visualize the monks praying singing the psalms. Thanks so much for sharing.

  2. gerard koolschijn says:

    Is there any Unesco- or other control of all this restauration, renovation, demolishing?
    Nice picture of the flood from above!

    • athosweblog says:

      Good point! Apparently there is some kind of control. Unesco reports with Factors affecting the property such as Excessive road construction; Timber extraction; Lack of overall management plan covering both the natural and cultural values of the property.
      But I think there is no enforcement the only thing Unesco can do is canceling the World Heritage status. They have done that with other sites that but thats a big punishment.

    • Phil Hermes says:

      There is an official government organisation called Κέντρο Διαφυλάξεως Αγιορειτικής Κληρονομιάς (the Centre for the preservation of Athonite heritage) which oversees all the building work on Athos to ensure that the architecture remains vernacular and in keeping with the Athonite tradition. It is partly funded by the Greek Government and the European Union. KeDAK used to be based in the Ministry of Makedonia-Thraki but has now migrated to premises near Delphon on the eastern side of Thessaloniki. Anybody interested in the architecture of Athos should head for KeDAK. See http://www.kedak.gr for more information on KeDAK’s work.(in the Greek vernacular)

      • athosweblog says:

        The question now is: Did Kedak gave permission to remove the more the 100 years old red bricks an build a complete new entrance an if so, what was the motivation?

  3. yves says:

    I think ( hope) it will look better when the renovation there will be done.
    We visite Simonas Petras first week of May this year.
    When there is a big change I will post it !

    Best Regards
    Yves Milonas

    • athosweblog says:

      Dear Yves,
      It is already a big change in my opinion. What is the idea behind it? Why pre christian Pilars? Is it showing off or are there religious motives?

  4. Jitze says:

    Herman is dat het definitieve plaatje? Lijkt er op dat het nog niet af is.

    • athosweblog says:

      Ik wil niet dat afgemaakt wordt, ik wil mijn ruim 100 jarige rode balkonnetje terug en zeker geen klassieke heidense pilaren. Er is geen enkel gevoel voor authenticiteit.

  5. isaakscottcairns says:

    The fathers have been meticulously reconstructing that entire approach to the monastery for the past couple years. I’m supposing that the relationship between your post and that next phase of the ongoing project is simply coincidental. May it be blessed.


    • athosweblog says:

      It is coincidental, I agree but my point is that I don’t believe that they reconstructing an entrance as it was, say, 300 or more years ago but that the pillars that they are building now are a new element, not historical. If that is true I prefer the red balcony which is historical, at least 100 years old.

  6. theodosios says:

    Herman Voogd,
    wenn Du naechstes Mal hier bist, frage den Gastvater nach mir. Dann besprechen wir das.

  7. Sean Rose says:

    I definitely prefer the old look and style…

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