2115 – the ‘fake’ tower above Karyes

Every pilgrim who has been in Karyes probably has seen this tower, in the hills high above the small town, at 645 meters high.

Konaki Xenofontos in Karyes and the tower
At the red arrow: the location of the tower above Karyes (detail Peter Howorth map)

In 2018 father Theodosius from Simonospetras took us for a trip over the Holy Mountain and one of our first stops was at the spot where this tower stands. It is on a dead end street, high upon the hill, so nobody ever takes the trouble to hike (or drive) to this place. But we did, and this what we found:

Photograph by father Theodosios Simonopetritis

Father Theodosius told that this stone tower was built for one purpose: to hide away the communication antennas that were installed by a telephone provider. It is actually a stone tower and its architecture resembles Athos towers, that are spread over many places on the peninsula. Most of the time the tower in a monastery is used as a library. But this ‘fake’ tower contains only electrical appliances: behind the white screen telephone antennas are placed! The power for the antennas is provided by solar cells.

Telephone antennas and solar energy
One of the most famous towers on Athos: the Amalfi tower from the old Catholic -Italian- monastery – 1986
A wooden lookout tower (for hunting reasons?)
Father Theodosius at the lookout tower and small hut
Inside the small hut: a broken window in a deserted room with a matras and some furniture
View of Karyes, with the bus station and the restaurant of father Maximos (red arrow)
Father Maximos,who owns a restaurant and a gift – icon – shop in Karyes

Wim Voogd, 12-3

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6 Responses to 2115 – the ‘fake’ tower above Karyes

  1. Artur says:

    Where is that Restaurant of Father Maximos, I have never seen that in Karyes

  2. Ruud Verkerk says:

    Wederom een mooi artikel, m’n dag is altijd goed als ik op de Athosweblog een interessant artikel zie. Dat eethuisje van Father Maximos is me nooit opgevallen, sinds wanneer is dat daar. Ik ken alleen het eethuisje in de “Hoofdstraat” en natuurlijk de bakker richting Koutloumousiou met de heerlijke Cheese pie.
    Met hartelijke groet, Ruud Verkerk, Gouda

  3. Japetus says:

    I think father Maximos owns the shop next door with the handicrafts but he is probably the responsible monk for the whole kelion. The cafe/restaurant itself is owned (rented?) by two young civilians from Ierissos, Dimitris and Vassilis..
    All of the building which forms a triangle with an interior court, has shops at the basement and features also an upper floor, belongs to Simonopetra and is the kelion of Agios Georgios Kalathas..

  4. Japetus says:

    About that tower, when it was first constructed, it used to host the equipment of the Panafon telephone company (now Vodafone), which was the first mobile telephone company to provide cover at the holy mountain. There were reactions of course at first, but given the time mobile telephone access was generally accepted and appreciated throughout Athos.
    It was a common inside joke at that time from pilgrims and some monks, considering how useful was this ‘miracle’ of mobile communication in Athos brought by Panafon, that if someone asked what this tower was, they replied: It is the chapel of Panagia Panafonitissa! 🙂

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