2096 – The harbour of Vatopediou

I will show a few impressions of the harbour (arsanas) of Vatopediou.

The 19th century warehouse from the perspective of the pier. The monastery with its red walls towers above the warehouse.

A closer look at the boathouse. The loose bricks are about to fall down. The disappeared stucco reveals the Norman building style. In the background one of Vatopediou’s defensive towers.

Plenty of cats were sunbathing in the early morning sun. They found a spot in a ruin that is overgrown by fig trees. It is always a surprise to see domestic animals on the Holy Mountain that kept its natural beauty and dense forests due to the lack of domestic animals. The woods were never burned down for livestock.

An oxhead is bricked-in in the warehouse at the quay. A reminiscence of ancient, pre-Christian, times on Athos, I thought. But I was wrong as Claudiu stated January 2016 in a comment. It is an bison from Christian times. A gift from Stephen the Great and Holy (1472-1496), who funded the arsanas. See Herman’s 2015 view on the harbour of Vatopediou. And Wim’s pictures.

I mentioned the kiosk in an earlier post about Derek Hill. It was built in loving memory of the artist.

The boat houses are definitely in urgent need of restauration. Can a new Derek Hill or a Stephen the Great and Holy please rise? The building on the left houses the office of the Harbour Police of Mount Athos.

I found an interesting aerial perspective of the harbour, taken in the winter of 2017. Probably with a drone. Source:

Bas Kamps

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3 Responses to 2096 – The harbour of Vatopediou

  1. Hi Bas,

    The oxhead here most probably IS from ancient pre-Christian times. 🙂
    The arsanas is indeed a gift of Stephen the Great and Holy, however the fathers had the custom to decorate the buildings with such artifacts from the town which is underneath of the monastery. They put there most probably because it resembles the coat of arms of Moldavia, but – again – most probably is from the ancient times – (one of) the idol(s) of the pre-Christian town underneath our monastery if Titan (that ox).

  2. baskamps says:

    Thank you for the confirmation of my initial thoughts. Maybe someone has the definitive answer.

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