2205 – postcards from Athos: part one

Sending a postcard home was in former days a way to let friends and family know where you have been and a pilgrimage to Athos is no exception to this tradition. As early as 1905 the first postcards from Athos appear, mostly with a text in French. The early cards with photos were mostly printed abroad or I presume, in Thessaloniki. I wonder where you could buy these postcards back then, I think it would not have been easy the find them. There is one card of Iviron that gives us a clue (see below).

On our weblog we showed you in previous posts already many other postcards, for example in post 1334: 66 postcards of all 20 monasteries. Today I will present (in this part one) a few more (old) postcards, not only from all monasteries, but also from the “capital” Karyes and (later) from some skities:

00 – Karyes

Karyes, 1922
Karyes in full color, with Greek and French texts: 6th February 1926, from Raymond Jaloniques

On both postcards you can see that the current building of the Holy Epistatia with its white stairs, left from the old tower where the ‘Tragos’ is kept and the bell tower of the Protaton-church, is not build yet.

Karyes: seen from the South, date unknown
Karyes, in Greek and French, date unknown: with skiti Andreou and the Protaton
Karyes, 1957: the Protaton interior, sent from Turkey (see the stamps) by “Le professeur”
Not actually a postcard, but a serie of 16 pictures from the Athonias academy in Karyes
Karyes: nr 16: pupils/novices on the stairs of the Athonias academy

01- Lavra

Lavra: with a postage stamp canceled in 1963: the Katholicon on the stamp and the photo. The stamp memorates the 1000 years celebrations of the founding of Athos in Lavra in 963.
Lavra: date unknown, Greek, with the grave of Ag. Athanasios and the phiale.
Lavra: date unknown, a view from above, with the ossuary in front.

02 – Vatopedi

Vatopedi: 1917, made by Zepdji in Lyon, photograph by Rollet, visé Paris nr 3043 and 252: Text: “Souvenir d’Oriente Pierre”
This postcard is written during World War I here is the backside of this postcard (in French).

In 1917 a French/Russian army occupied Mount Athos (see post 1950). Maybe this postcard is written by one of the soldiers.

Vatopedi 1957: in Greek and English, seen from the South
Vatopedi, date unknown, in full color
Vatopedi: date unknown, in black and white
Vatopedi, date unknown: the courtyard wit katholicon and bell tower, in black and white
Vatopedi, date unknown (about 1940?): a group of pilgrims with monks posing for the photo
Vatopedi, date unknown: Greek, in color, the katholicon, trapeze and general view.
Vatopedi, date unknown, aerial photograph, entrance and East wing in front

03 – Ivirón

Ivirón: date unknown, aerial photo

What is striking here is that this picture showes the South wall. Most pictures are from the Eastern or Northern walls. Visible is a large brown elevation (rocks?), that end at a green area close to the wall. Behind it a gap is filled up by a red wall, while at most monasteries the courtyards are completely surrounded by buildings. Nowadays this area has been cleared totally and a new building has been added at the red wall, as you can see on the aerial photo I took in 2017:

Iviron 2017 – photo Wim Voogd: Eastern (sea) side and South side. The East-area has been cleared and roads lead up to the walls nowadays.
Ivirón, date unknown, North wall, Greek and French texts

The gap in the Southern wall is clearly visible here. The old tower is, just as on the postcard below, still in ruins.

Ivirón, date unknown, North wings and the gate/entrance
Ivirón, date unknown

This picture shows a part of the arsanas left, the East wing of Ivirón, now with the renovated tower in the background.

Ivirón, date unknown, with the renovated tower and a text in French: “acheter cette carte a un village a 30 K. envions (?) a Salonique”, translated: this card was bought in a town 30 km from Saloniki
Ivirón, date unknown: East wing, published by Olympic Airways
The arsanas of Ivrirón

04 – Chilandariou

Chilandariou, date unknown, linocut made by Reinhold Zwerger (1924-2009)

You can read more about the artist Reinhold Zwerger and Athos-map maker in post 1339.

Chilandariou, date unknown: before the great fire from March 2004
Chilandariou, date unknown: here the bigger trees take away the view of the wall and tower

05 – Dionysiou

Dionysiou, date unknown: this Greek postcard shows parts of the Apocaliptic scenes from the Bible book of John
Dionysiou, date unknown, aerial view: the compact size of the monastery is clearly visible.
Dionysiou, date unknown, black and white: inside the trapeza

06 – Koutloumousiou

Koutloumousiou: 1899, in French: an early postcard with an overview of Athos and the top of the Holy Mountain. Also with a couple of steam/sailships, and a small image of the monastery, decorated with nice purple flowers
Koutloumousiou, 1928, in Greek and French
Koutloumousiou, date unknown: the East and North wings
Koutloumousiou, date unknown: seen from the air. The green plants in the courtyard look like grape vines on a pergola (?)

07 – Pantocratoros

Pantocratoros, date unknown: the arsanas and the monastery
Pantocratoros, date unknown: photo almost from the same angle
Pantocratoros, date unknown, the East wing, with red and yellow colors
Pantocratoros, date unknown, Greek and French text: the North wing, with Stavronikita and the Holy Mountain in the background.

08 – Xiropotamou

Xiropotamou, date unknown: Greek postcard, with a relic and the phiale and bell/clock tower
Xiropotamou, date unknown, Greek: the West wing and kitchen gardens
Xiropotamou, dat unknown, in Greek and French nr 215: the entrance in the South wing, with a pergola with vines
Xiropotamou, date unknown: aerial photo wth the extended kitchen gardens, North and West wings

Wim Voogd, 25-05-2021

This entry was posted in 01 Lavra, 02 Vatopedi, 03 Iviron, 04 Chilandariou, 05 Dionysiou, 06 Koutloumousiou, 07 Pantocratoros, 08 Xiropotamou, Karyes, monasteries and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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