In post 2018 I showed you the pictures I bought on the internet, made by German ‘Wehrmacht’ soldiers during the Second World War. Some of the pictures were taken on the hills above skiti Timiou Prodromou, where the German flak position once stood. On our last pilgrimage to the Holy Mountain in September 2018 I wanted to investigate if I could find the exact location of this flak position. Could there still be any ruins left, because it is said that the buildings were totally demolished after the war?
Even on Google maps you can still see the contours of a building, and on the next picture, found on the internet, a building is even better visible.
With the help of monk T. from Simonospetras, who drove us over the peninsula that day, I took a hike to this building. A Romanian monk of Prodromou told father T. that this should be the place where the flak position had been during WW-II.
I started walking the monopati that leads up from Prodromou and after a few hundred meters a path goes up to the left (in blue on the map below).
On the Howorth map the (ruined) building I went to is marked as a chapel named “Timios Prodromos”: this is how it looks like today.
The building is in a desolate state: the walls of the two room are crumbled down, except for the wall on the right on the last photo. In this room two wooden beams are still in situ. Might this has been the tower like structure that has been used by the Germans to overlook the NorthEast and South coast of Athos? (see picture below). Any signs of a road leading to this spot, as you can also see on the picture below, are totally gone. And I did not find any signs that this building used to be chapel.
I look some photos of the surroundings, to make sure I ended up at the right spot:
After visiting the Holy Mountain I continued my holiday and we booked a hotel in Porto Koufo. I found out that on Sithonia, between Porto Koufou and Toroni, there also has been a flak position made by the Germans in the second WW, called “Two Cannons”. This the route we walked to visit this spot:
And this is how this flak position looked like:
The architecture of these structures differ completely from the ruins I found on Mount Athos. These buildings are made of concrete and they are clearly made for war purposes. Next to this place, where the cannon was positioned, the soldiers quarters were build, also in concrete. Such buildings lack on Athos. Furthermore they did not use any concrete on Athos, but on the other hand no cannons were placed on the flak position above Prodromou, and only 2 to 4 men were were accommodated there.
My conclusion: I am still not quite convinced that the German flak position is on the place I found on the Holy Mountain. More investigation has to be done!
And my best wishes for a good pilgrimage to the Haarlem-team and my brother Herman, who will be visiting Athos next week!
Wim Voogd, update 6 april 2019
Theodosios sent me some photos of the spot he claims to be the flak position, see below. From this view you can see Prodromou and cape Akrathos. The ruins on Theodosios’ photos are different then the one I saw and the spot is more open. The mystery remains: where is this flak position exact located?
Or could it be here – in the red circle?