Yesterday I was informed on Facebook that on Sunday evening 30th January 2022 a fire broke out in this cell that belongs to the Serbian Chilandariou monastery. Today I received an e-mail from Vladislav Golupski, who gave me a link to this source on the website hilandar.org (thanks Vladislav for sharing the following information and photos).
A fire broke out today [30-01] at around 6.30 pm Greek time in the cell of Agiou Vasiliou (or the residence of St. Basil – Hrusija), which is located three kilometers north of Hilandar. Thanks to the quick reaction of the Greek firefighters with one vehicle, as well as the Hilandar monastic fire service with two firefighting vehicles, the fire was localized and extinguished until late in the evening. There were no casualties or injuries in the fire. The fire was caused by a wood stove.
The fire engulfed the cell, but firefighters prevented the roof and mezzanine wooden structure from burning, so the roof did not collapse on the boarding house, nor did the fire spread to the ground floor. The fire did not spread to the rest of the medieval fortress and its most valuable parts: the church of St. Basil, the tower and the remains of the palace from the 14th century. The residence where the fire broke out dates from 1868. The exact extent of the damage and material damage will be determined later. There were no objects with the character of cultural property in the burned cell.
The photo beow made with a drone shows the living quaters of this small cell.
About the Hermitage of St. Basil
The hermitage of St. Basil (also known as the Old Monastery, St. Basil on the Sea or Pirg Hrusija) is part of the rich Hilandar cultural and historical heritage on the Holy Mountain, which is located outside the walls of the Hilandar Monastery.
There used to be a smaller fortification at that place – a port that was significantly expanded and fortified by the Holy King Milutin in the 14th century at the request of Hilandar monks, in order to protect themselves from pirate attacks from the sea.
King Milutin built a strong fortification – a pyre (tower) with a church on top dedicated to the Ascension of Christ. Immediately after him, Stefan Dečanski built, or finished what he started, another church dedicated to St. Basil. According to tradition, a palace was built in the eastern corner of the fortress during the reign of Emperor Dušan.
The palace, as well as other rampart walls, were damaged and partially destroyed under the influence of earthquakes and the ravages of time.
In the last decade of the 20th century, a wooden supporting structure was made with the aim of preventing further collapse of the palace walls. A few years ago, as part of the renovation of Hilandar, the wooden supporting structure was removed due to wear and tear, and extensive work was carried out on the conservation and reconstruction of the rampart walls and the walls of the palace. At the church of St. Basil, works were performed with the aim of preventing the penetration of salt water caused by the wind.
The hermitage of St. Basil is an integral part of the long-term protection and preservation of the Serbian cultural and historical heritage on the Holy Mountain.
For more photos have a look here during my visit to Agiou Vasiliou in 2014.
Wim Voogd, 1-2-2022 (thanks to Vladislav)