2074 – Visiting Profitou Eliou

We had never visited skiti Profitou Eliou (skete of Prophet Elijah). We did see it several times from a distance. But today the Prophet was waiting for us in the morning clouds. Here we have an overview of the complex as seen from Pantocratoros. With the dominant katholicon, some surrounding buildings, all built on a levelled terrace, and the remains of an old windmill.

The situation before the church was built in 1903. The church was placed in the central courtyard.

Another view from Pantocratoros, with Profitou Eliou in the upper left corner.

The walk starts with a slight descent to the stream. Normally the passage is easy. But due to the rain the night before the stream had turned into a broad fast moving brown flow that carried all kinds of loose objects to the sea. The water level had risen dramatically. How we crossed fast brown stream is described by Herman in another blog.

Just before entering the skete we saw the windmill with vieilles vignes and an orchard. The blue symbol, unknown to me, on the windmill can be seen from afar. It reminds me of wicks, that are actually missing on the structure.

An old and a new way of producing power from of the forces of nature; wind and solar energy.

The very friendly and hospitable father Filemon showed us around in the church and invited us to take pictures of the interior. This is the central chandelier in the very centre of the katholicon. Father said that many people take the vertical shot from the middle of the light, as I did.

The style of the church is typically Russian; much daylight, open and very bright.

It is not very old to Athonite standards. The skete was founded in 1759 by an Ukrainian monk called Paisius Velichkovsky.

Father Filemon posing with the pilgrims Herman, Jacques and Barry. Later, in the guesthouse Father Filemon showed us the Rembrandt etching he got from “Jeltsin”. We tried to explain that it was not from “Jeltsin”, as he used to call Jitze, but from webhost Wim. We were not sure if he did get it. Read more about “Jeltsin”.

The background is formed by the impressive iconostasis with its 2000 kilos of pure gold.

In the guesthouse we had a long, informative and inspiring talk with fellow pelgrims.

We walked back over the save and dry dirt road  to Pantocratoros to collect our backpacks for the next stretch, the hike to Vatopediou.

Bas Kamps

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