2108 – the YMCA excursion to Athos in 1925

In 1925 mr. P. Roccos, the religious secretary of the YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association) from Thessaloniki, organized an excursion to Mount Athos with 45 of its members. The trip took place during Easter 1925, from 17 to 24 April. During this trip an unknown member/photographer took pictures, that are available on this site. Mr. Roccos wrote a brief manual consisting of 5 pages. He explains that not all of the members were young: the group of 45 participants aged from 18 to 72 years old

the excursionists belonged to various social classes. There were students of the higher Gymnasia classes, professors, merchants, lawyers, bank employees, deputies, news paper correspondents and Government employees. On Friday, April 17, while the sun was setting down, the boat “Chios” left the port of Saloniki with the excursionists on board and after 12 hours sail she landed them on Saturday morning at bay of Mt. Athos-Daphne”. The moment we faced the first time Mt. Athos with all its grander en snowy high peak, the beautiful verses of our national poet P. Soutsos came to our mind:

“YOU ARE PAVILIONED WITH DIAMOND’S CROWN,

THE WOODS FROM YOUR BELT AND THE CLOUDS YOUR HAIR”.

According to me they saw the following monasteries: Iviron, Lavra, Pavlou, Simonospetras and Panteleimonos. It is mentioned in the documents below that there were 5.000 monks on Athos at that time, from whom 80% were Greek. The Slavic people (Russian, Serbian and Bulgarian), constitute a minority on Athos (see page 3 below). I wonder if this information is true at that time….

Let’s have a look, but first I will show you the “Athos-manual” mr. Roccos wrote.

Iviron, seen from the path that comes from Karyes
Iviron: the courtyard with the Portatissa chapel
Iviron: the arsanas tower
Lavra: the arsanas with kaiks
Lavra: a South view of the monastery
Lavra: the group of 45 YMCA members at the gate (here 24)
An Evzone or “Serdarines” in a traditional dress
Lavra: the phiale and the old pine
Five monks with a cross
Four monks with the Igoumenos(?)
Group photo with four monks
Three YMCA members (one with walking stick) and a monk (with ragged clothes and a large rosary)
A young novice sounding the wooden semantron
Ag. Pavlou seen from a distance
The balconies of Simonospetras
Most probably the last monastery they visited, Panteleimonos: the bell fry and katholikon

Wim Voogd, 19-2-2020

This entry was posted in 01 Lavra, 03 Iviron, 13 Simonos Petras, 14 Paulou, 19 Panteleimonos, history, monasteries and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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