Let’s take a closer look within the monastery, starting at the entrance (Δ1 on the Mylonas map above). You will arrive in the first courtyard (A).
After passing the entrance you will find the archondariki or guesthouse on your right hand. In former days the guesthouse was situated in building Z2, K and K1, but it has been replaced to this part of the monastery, building H. The stairs and plants were added later and not drawn on the Mylonas-plan from 2000. The building was previous used by monks, who had their cells here.
These pictures are from the waiting room, where coffee, tsipourou (?) and loukoumi is served. Tow fine icons of Ag. Georgios and Dimitrios hang on the wall. In left a corner you will a small chapel behind closed doors.
These images above the door shows us rarely seen scenes from Ag. Gerasimos (or St. Hieromymus), who lived from 347 to 30th September 420, one of the four great church Fathers.
This is the story depicted on the walls: Gerasimos helped a lion to remove thorns from its paw and after this, to his surprize, the lion became his devoted pet. The lion was given the special task of guarding the communities donkey, which grazed along the Jordan. One day, it happened that, while the lion was napping, the donkey strayed and was stolen by a passing trader. After searching, without success, the lion returned to the monastery, it head hanging low. The brothers concluded that the lion had been overcome and had eaten the donkey and as punishment, gave the lion the job of the donkey; to carry water each from the river to the monastery in a saddle pack with four earthen jars. Months later, it happened that the trader was passing through the Jordan with the stolen donkey and three camels. The lion recognised the donkey and roared so loudly that the trader ran away. Taking its rope in his jaws, the lion led the donkey back to the monastery with the camels following behind. The monks realised that they had misjudged the lion; this is how the lion earned his name “Jordanes” from the Elder Gerasimos.
The next room or exo-narthex, that gives access to both the old church and the trapeza. The scenes resemble the ones in Dionysiou: all are from the book of John and show us the cyclus of the Apocalypse. For an extensive description of the scenes read these posts, starting at nr. 1100.
Wim Voogd, 27-06 (next time more photos from courtyard B)