2055 – Xenofontos, photos of the surroundings and the outside of the monastery

Today I will show pictures of the outside of Xenofontos monastery. The plan below is drawn in 1980 by Mylonas.

The plan of Xenofontos 2000

As you can see on the aerial below, which I took in 2017, the layout of monastery has undergone some changes. Two new large buildings appear next to Northern wall, at the place where the yellow crane is today.

Photo Wim Voogd 2017

On the internet I found this aerial photo of unknown date, where you see a construction site and the first contours of a new building (on the right). This new construction also explains why the ugly yellow crane was put in the corner.

Two old pictures from my photo library: the first one is from 1986, everything is still in its original state. The second is from 2007: the new buildings are almost ready and the yellow crane showed up.

Plan from the Feigl book 1980: another example of an old plan. Only two small buildings and chapel are situated at the Northern wall (U, T and S) at the spot where nowadays new large buildings stand.
Barsky 1744

A long time ago, in 1744, the monastery looked quite different then it is now: at that time the Northern and Eastern external walls were integrated in the buildings. These buildings probably burnt down in the meanwhile and were replaced by walls.

Notice a funny detail in the sea in the Barsky drawing: a fisherman catches a large octopus!

Here are the spots where I took my photos, roughly divided into six sections:

  1. the Northern wall and buildings (E1 on the Mylonas plan above), at the backside of the monastery
  2. the Eastern wall, (E1, Φ1 and H),
  3. and 6. surrounding buildings
  4. the entrance and boat house (South wall)
  5. the kitchen gardens and ossuary (Western wall)

As I described in post 2054 we took a wrong turn on the path coming from Docheiariou and we ended up behind the monastery, at the – not very interesting -long wall at E1. The view is furthermore spoilt by the ugly yellow crane, that has been standing at the corner for a while now. Why are these iron monsters not demolished after use?

Photo1.1 the wall at E1 and the yellow crane
Photo 1.2 the Northern wall, in the top end right corner you can see a dome of a chapel of a new building.
Photo 1.3: the Northern wall with the dome of a chapel, the yellow crane and white chimneys

Xenofontos is one of the few monasteries where some parts of the defence structure consist of separate walls, which are part of the fortified complex. Other examples of these walls you can find in Iviron(South wall) and Agiou Pavlou (Eastern wall). In all other 17 monasteries (and most larger skites) the outer walls are integrated by buildings that are used by the monks, which serve a double purpose (living and defence).

Photo 2.1 the Eastern wall: E1 is the separate wall, that leads all the way to building H, the wing with cells. The lower building outside the defence wall (with grey tiles), behind corner building with the red tiles, is the olive oil press (Φ1).

According to this postcard the situation in 1911: mostly walls instead of buildings.

Photo 2.2: walking along the Eastern wall and buildings: the oil press (Φ1).
Photo 2.3: The Eastern wall/buildings (H – cells of monks), seen from another direction
Photo 2.4: the last part of the Eastern wall, near the sea (building H, cells)
Photo 3.1 workers buildings

Towards the Northeast you will find a number of buildings for workers, where they park their cars and where they store the firewood:

Photo 3.5: a fire oven to burn waste, still in use
Photo 4.1: also building H, South wall, with monks cells, with inside chapel k (The Presentation of the Virgin).
Photo 4.2: the boat house. The large balcony above it is from the archondariki, the guesthouse. Nearby the rooms of the guests are situated.
Photo 4.3: inside the boat house

Just around the corner of this boathouse you can find the entrance to the monastery. At the time we were there workmen were working on the pavement and they didn’t like to be photographed by us. So I’ll have to skip a recent picture of Δ1, the main gate. I found one old picture from 2007, but it only shows the top of the entrance.

Left: the entrance to the monastery, 2007

At spot 6 there are four surrounding buildings: their mainly purpose is housing for temporary workers.

Photo 6.1: surrounding buildings. This bridge leads form the boat house workers houses
6.2 the white building is old, the one along sea shore is very new, its construction did finish in 2017.
6.3: the new building for workers along the shore

(see here for the situation in 2017).

6.4: a monk and worker on the pier
6.5: pilgrim Jitze on the pier with the quay wall and a smaller building in the background
Photo 2007: Xenofontos seen from the sea (spot 5) Western en Southern wall

Below: the vegetable gardens lie between spot 4 (boathouse) and 5. This is also a photo of the entrance (Δ1).

Photo 5.1: taken from a balcony, the vegetable gardens and main entrance

And finally we arrive at spot 5, the ossuary and graveyard.

Photo 5.2: the Western wall
Photo 5.3: The chapel belonging to the ossuary
Photo 5.4: the interior of the chapel
Photo 5.5: unsharp, but a photo of the ossuary

Photo 5.6.- 5.8: the cemetery of Xenofontos

Photo 5.9: a balcony near the cemetery
Photo 5.10: the Western wall seen from another direction, with an orange tree
Photo 5.11: a green house near the Western wall
Photo 5.12: the Western wall with balconies
Photo 5.13: the corner of the Western and Southern wall
Photo 5.14: a small entrance door in the wall
Photo 5.15: the iron-reinforced door leading to the tower (A1 on the Mylonas plan) and building M
Photo 5.16: inside the monastery courtyard, the small entrance in the Western wall

Wim Voogd, 17 june 2019

(next time more photos within the monastery)

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