Already 12 years ago I expressed my wishes to show you more about the journey of one of the most famous Dutch photographers, Cas Oorthuys, to the Holy Mountain, together with the Dutch writer A. den Doolaard (link to my post about Ewing Galloway). They visited Athos four days – three nights in July 1957 together with their guide Asterios Kyriasis, who spoke French and a little English. The writer published his travel experiences in 1959 in his book “Greeks are not gods” (post 1531). In december 1959 two articles were published in the magazine “Katholieke Illustratie” with many photos of Cas Oorthuys, who lived from 1908-1975 (more in posts 636, 646, 649 and 652).
In 2018 my wishes to open the Oorthuys Athos photo collection finally came through: in that year the Dutch Photo museum in Rotterdam started the crowd sourcing project Captions for Cas: 33,649 sheets of contact prints were digitized (with 500.000 photos and slides!) and I provided the descriptions of the 72 contact prints (more than 800 pictures) he took in Thessaloniki, Chalkidiki and Athos. The huge job ended in October 2020 and now the entire project is made available to the public (look here). Recently I received the museum’s generous cooperation to publish five of these contact prints. The first one I chose to share with you are the twelve pictures from his visit to Vatopedi monastery (see the contact print above). Let’s have a closer look:
A monk walks on the road that leads from the arsanas up to the Vatopedi monastery.
Cas Oorthuys and A. den Doolaard started their Athos pilgrimage in Ierissos. Early in the morning they took a Greek diesel kaik from Ierissos to Vatopedi monastery, together with their guide and tow monks. Later they visited Karyes, Xeropotamou and Gregoriou and Dionysiou monastery. They ended his trip visiting Panteleimonos and went – along Dafni – back to Ouranopolis by boat. From the boat he made pictures from the monasteries Simonos Petras and Docheiariou.
The courtyard of Vatopedi with the katholicon on the left and the East wing on the right.
The belfry and clocktower in the courtyard of Vatopedi: in between them you can see the trapeza.
A view from a gallery in the East wing.
These beautiful overviews are taken from the highest position in the West wing, where you can overlook the roofs and the chimneys.
The next two photos are from the interior of the trapeza (refter) of Vatopedi. As you can see on the picture below that I took 29 years later in 1986, the bottom of the tables were not painted blue yet. Nowadays the blue color is painted over again in white.
The entrance to Vatopedi with mules.
The outside wall of the North wing of the monastery, where the archondariki – guesthouse is situated.
Wim Voogd, 27-12-2020