1983 – Communication by telegraph


Man on telegraph pole in Karyes in the late 19th century. Morsecodes and telegrams,  using electricity as a way of communication. On a map, made in 1901, a telegraph line (a line with dots), from Ierissos to the border  is visible.

From the border the telegraph line leads to Karyes, the black square on the map.Still remnants of the line are to bee seen alongside the footpaths. This is a porcelain insulator near Chera on the monopati to Karyes.insulators vatopedi 2010 by THD.png
Porcelein insulators on a Vatopedi wall, photo by Theodosios Simonopetritis, 2010.

The old telegraph line is not to be confused with a normal electricity network as Mount Athos is still not connected to the Greek electricity transmission system. The monasteries use generator sets with fuel oil. This practice has the effect of both noise and air pollution and expensive fuels.This is the generator house of Lavra. They have to shut down the machines during the night because of the loud noise.The Russian monastery of Panteleimonas uses among other things solar energy.
The increased number of visitors results in an increasing need for energy. The energy problem is recently discussed in  a meeting organized by the KEDAK.

Herman Voogd

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4 Responses to 1983 – Communication by telegraph

  1. theodosios says:

    Yeah I remember those from my early days in the monastery. Used to short out in heavy rain & snow. Or the cables broke by mechanical stress. Had to climb the columns and splice cables.
    About electricity: Lavra has a pretty large Hydro Power Plant as well. Simonos Petras had one of the first Hybrid Energy Systems (Diesel / Hydro / Solar / Battery) worldwide by 1990. Was by then one the few institutions worldwide which could run on renewable energy sources alone.

    • athosweblog says:

      Thanks for this. Very interesting that you experienced the telegraph yourself. Do you know in which year it was still ( more or less) operational?
      Herman Voogd

      • theodosios says:

        not too sure, should have been up to ~1990, it was than replaced by a Mt Athose-wide-microwave system.

  2. japetusgr says:

    Agiou Pavlou and Gregoriou monasteries also use hydroelectric power to cover their needs nowadays, at least for several months during winter time when the water flow from the adjacent streams is heavy..

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