In part one – post 2205 – I showed you the postcards I found on the internet of Karyes and the first eight monasteries. In part two the next monastery is:
This is fourth postcard from Zepdji. Until now I discovered three other postcards made by Zepdji in 1917: one from Vatopedi (see last post), one from Docheiariou and one from Karakallou. These postcards are made during World War I, when Athos was under the occupation of a French/Russian army, as we will notice from the written text on the backside of this postcard.
My French is not good but in the middle of the text I can read this: “je suis en bonne santée” and “hier nous avons de bombardes par les aviont” etc. meaning something like: “I am in good health” and “yesterday we have been bombared by airplanes”. Who can help translating the complete text? (thanks DD from France for translating the complete text: read his comment).
Most photographs from the Sografou monastery are made from the hill opposite the monastery and show us the West wing, with on the left the annex where the kitchen just be (at least in 1980).
On this postcard, probably made later then 1917, another annex is added one floor higher to the West wing of the monastery. Left is the North wing, with the entrance. On the top of the oval protruding part in the West wing is the trapeza (with a dome).
Next to the gate in the North wing, you seen long streched building, where the archondariki is situated. Nowadays it is completely renovated and luxurious. The other houses are for workers/laymen.
On this postcard you can see the roof of the trapeza with its dome and on the right the katholicon. On the foreground the South wing of the monastery. This picture is probably shot from the opposite hill with a telelens.
Although this postcard has been published before in post 1065, I added it again because I want to bring all the Zepdji postcards together. This one differs from the other because it had no numbers on it and also is in English. Could it a be (illegal) copy of the original?
Photo taken from the sea with the arsanas buildings
This photo is almost identical to the previous, taken from a slight different angle.
Here the tree in front of the boat house has been felled and new tree grows next to the house on the right: a picture taken in a later year probably.
Aerial photo, with building activities/scaffolds at the boat house. The pier has been enlarged and a small one has been added, to create a tiny harbor. Luckily the ugly red construction crane is not this postcard. I do not know when they put it next to he North wall, from 2007 until now I have been spotting this disfiguring red monster. Is it allowed to let stand there, in Unesco heritage site, for more then a decade?
The text on this card resembles the text that was used by soldier “Pierre” on his postcard of Vatopedi in 1917, which I showed you in part one of post 2205, postcard nr 12. Could they have known each other as a soldier of the French army and copied each others massages on the front of the postcard?
Another Zepdji postcard from 1917, with another French partially legible text on the postcard: “pouvoir tu ? ? quelques ? ? ?”. The photo shows the North wall of the monastery. In the background you can probably see kellion Timiou Stavrou.
On this postcard the South and East wall is photographed.
On this postcard the South and East wall, with the gate, is photographed.
Much has changed in the meantime, as you see on the 3D model from Google earth below. In the empty corner left a building (S/W corner) has been added and lower part of the opposite wing has been transformed in a two floor building(North wing).
The three postcards are almost identical, only the climbing plant on the right wall in the first photo is smaller.
14 Agiou Paulou
Three postcards from the same spot/angle, almost identical to each other. The facade and the the buildings at the entrance have been altered and the large pine tree in front of the kiosk has been felled or has fallen.
Stavronikita is my favorite monastery, one of the only remaining, without electricity inside the monastery. Nothing has changed here until today, luckily.
This postcard shows the long Eastern wall of the monastery: the right part of this wall does not contain buildings, as is common with Athos monasteries. Until recently the North wall also only consisted of a wall, but nowadays part is filled by a new building (more information in post 2062). In the background the islands of Amouliani appear and the Greek mainland in the North.
Mistakes were made even in old times: here a French postcard printed in Paris shows us Grigoriou and the text mentions: St-Paul.
This is clearly a postcard bought by tourists who do not visit Athos, as we can learn from the text: Edith goes shopping and window gazing in the morning and spend the afternoon on the beach!
What is interesting om this postcard is the old tower on the right side of the monastery, whitch is even better visible on the next two postcards.
On both full color postcards you can see the old ruined and high tower stil standing. It has been removed in the meanwhile, as you can see on the picture below from 2019:
Maybe the old tower is a remnant of the great fire from 1761, when the old parts of the monastery were distroyed totally. I am not sure when the ruin of the old tower is removed. According to the other pictures of Grigoriou that I have in my archive, I could find out that the ruins of this tower has been demolished between 1909 and 1956. What is assuring about Grigoriou that the iconical palm tree is seen on almost every picture!
Wim Voogd, 28th May 2021