1982 – Megistis Lavra, some last pictures before moving on

The passage through the kitchen. The cobbled stones look like they are polished by centuries of footsteps. A strong sense of beauty made me shiver here.This picture is taken from the cells at the inside of the eastern wall. An overview with four cupolas; one pink, one orange and two red ones. The red ones form the top of the catholicon. The pink one is the top of the chapel Nicolaos. The orange one, made of bricks, belongs to the chapel Panaghia Kukuselissa.The chapel Panaghia, located between the northern wall and the trapeza, with an icon behind a red curtain. The same image 100 years ago. The pillars with the lions are worth noticing. Herman dedicated a special post about this chapel, with the same picture, from Charles Martel, the French photographer.The red cupola of the catholicon with the led cupola of the phiale in front of it. The 1000 years old cypress, named after the founder of Megistis Lavra, Athanasios, overshadows the cupolas.An overview of the catholicon from the rear, just after the sun disappeared behind the holy cypress.And the same picture, taken about 100 years ago, by the French Photographer Roger Le Baron.As a pilgrim you sleep in one big room on the first floor. Many short legged beds in one room. Plastic slippers are offered, as usual. Big old beams carry the ceiling, which is quite low. Men preparing for the night, like men do. Collecting necessities, reading a bit, chatting, checking smart phones, staring, laying down, staring at the ceiling and snoring. Someone, closest to the switch, was so kind to turn off the light for the night. The concerto for 24 vibrating uvulas was on the air.Early next morning before leaving Lavra. The chapel Panaghia, the tower of Tsimisès/ Tsimiskis and mountain in the morning light.Again the chapel Panaghia in the morning light. The wall of the trapeza catches the first sunlight of the day.The picture Le Baron made from the southwest edge with the tower Tsimiskis/Tsimisès, shows Megistis Lavra in its mediaeval splendour. We had to move on. To Nea Skiti. So we had a long day ahead of us. I wondered if we would find it in a different condition then on those very cold first days of 2015. I shivered again.

Bas Kamps

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4 Responses to 1982 – Megistis Lavra, some last pictures before moving on

  1. Vasílis says:

    A) As a result of the last picture, and two pictures earlier,: Tsimiski street is a major avenue in Thessaloniki. It is called after John Tsimiskis/Tsimiskes (Ο Ιωάννης Α΄ Τσιμισκής, (925-976), the Byzantine emperor. Only in French, as far as I know, he is called (strange for me) Tsimisès, like you did, Bas.
    B) At picture 5: ‘… the catholicon from the rear’: I would the eastside with the apsis and altar not call the rear of the church….

  2. bas kamps says:

    Thank you for your comment, Vasílis. The only name for the Tower I found on a French site with the old photographs and on a older German plan of Lavra (“Turm des Tsimiskis”), That plan is published in Wims blog number 809.
    And your right about the eastside of the catholicon, as is shown on the same map of blog 809.

  3. thd says:

    Go back and wait for perfect light on the cobbled stone floor, make a beautiful composition with the arcs and no visitors, in B&W.
    For the wide angles, a little keystoning would do wonders…

  4. gerard koolschijn says:

    I gladly share your first shiver, mr Kamps, and would have liked to share the second, in the early morning light. And what a beautiful picture of the catholicon just after sunset!

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