2221 – Palaiopyrgos: the tower of the lost monasteries of Xerokastrou and Calligrafou and more drone images by monk Theodosios

Monk Theodosios made some beautiful drone images of the northern part of Mt. Athos. Posts 2216, 2217 and 2219 covered the east coast, now we’ll take a closer look at the harbors and towers at the west coast. Here you can find the arsanas of Sografou monastery and only 600 meter further lies the arsanas of Konstamonitou monastery. First I’ll show you the pictures of arsanas Konstamonitou.

Arsanas Konstamonitou: drone flights in the northern part of Mt Athos, 5th of May 2021 by Theodosios
Arsanas Konstamonitou: drone flights in the northern part of Mt Athos, 5th of May 2021 by Theodosios
Behind arsanas Konstamonitou: the rocks with cave: drone flights in the northern part of Mt Athos, 5th of May 2021 by Theodosios
The drone flew more to the north and shot this picture of the Palaiopyrgos tower, now derelict and in ruins, and arsanas Sografou in the background, 5th May 2021 by Theodosios
Palaiopyrgos tower and arsanas Sografou in the background, 5th May 2021 by Theodosios

The KEDAK paper The Towers of Mount Athos from 2002 says that in former times the Palaiopyrgos (the Old Arsenal Tower) and the actual Konstamonitou arsenal served the needs of two small monasteries, Xerokastrou and Calligrafou, both of them presently extinct. The old tower provided its defences and the arsenal its berthing facilities. Historical evidence shows that the Old Tower was build before the tower of Sografou monastery, constructed in 1475, 200 meters to the west, and the actual arsenal of Konstamonitou, 400 meters to the east, which was constructed in 1763. It was the further development of the latter that eventually led to the Old Arsenal Tower becoming derelict.

The Xerokastrou was located somewhere between Megali Jovanitsa and the arsenal of Sografou. The Calligrafou was located nearer to the other monasteries, to the east an close to the arsenal of Konstamonitou.

Palaiopyrgos (the Old Arsenal Tower) , 5th May 2021 by Theodosios

On the left you can see the masonry ruins of the makeshift arsenal at the foot of the Old Tower.

Palaiopyrgos (the Old Arsenal Tower) , 5th May 2021 by Theodosios
Palaiopyrgos (the Old Arsenal Tower) from above, 5th May 2021 by Theodosios
A drawing from 1847 by the Russian monk Gennadios of the surroundings – from the KEDAK paper 2002
the Old Tower in 2013 – photo Wim Voogd
Arsanas Sografou, 5th May 2021 by Theodosios
Arsanas Sografou, with the Old Tower and arsanas Konstamonitou in the background, 5th May 2021 by Theodosios
Google Earth – West coast Athos

Could this be a remnant of the lost monastery Xerokastrou between Megali Jovanitsá and arsanas Sografou (see the red arrow)?

Wim Voogd, 18-09-2021

This entry was posted in 09 Sografou, 20 Konstamonitou, arsanas, ruins and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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