Aural icons of Orthodoxy, that is what the semantrons of Mount Athos are. Despite the differences between the monasteries and sketes they have several things in common. Among them the semantron, an essential tool to announce to call the monks for prayer. And it is the only musical instrument allowed in the monks republic. According to some historians the semantron has replaced the trumpet, that was used in Mount Sinaï in the 6thcentury, as a call for prayer. This is how it sounds.
The semantron was used during Ottoman times, because the ringing of bells was outlawed. After the Ottomans left, the custom stayed.
On my last pilgrimage in 2017 I tried to make a photographic collection of semantrons. And now in retrospect I looked into my collection to find out whether I have taken more pictures of semantrons and mallets. That’s the way it works with collections, once started you want to complete them.
And we added the pictures of Herman and Wim. We still need Xiropotamou, Xenophontos and Panteleimonos. You can send your picture of a lacking Athonian semantron to the webmaster. And we will gratefully add it to this collection.
We present them in the order of the rank of the monasteries:01 Lavra. Picture taken in 2017 by Bas Kamps.02 Vatopedi Picture taken in 2017 by Wim Voogd03 Iviron. Picture taken in 2015 by Bas Kamps.
04 Chilandariou Picture taken in 1997 by Wim Voogd.05 Dionysiou. Picture taken in the winter of 2014/5 by Bas Kamps. 06 Koutloumousiou. Picture taken in 2013 by Bas Kamps.07 Pantocratoros. Picture taken in 2013 by Herman Voogd
09 Sografou Picture taken in 1980 by Wim Voogd.10 Docheiariou. Picture taken in 2011 by Bas Kamps.11 Karakallou. Picture taken in 2013 by Bas Kamps.12 Filotheou. Picture taken in 2009 by Wim Voogd.13 Simonos Petras. Picture taken in 2015 by Bas Kamps.14 Paulou. Picture taken in 2014/15 by Bas Kamps.15 Stavronikita. Picture taken in 2015 by Bas Kamps.
20 Konstamonitou.Picture taken in 2009 by Herman Voogd.