2248 – the Dafni building complex of Simonospetras – part 1

Dafni 4th of October 2019

It has been three years since we last visited the Holy Mountain. Due to the coronavirus, the lockdowns in the world and extra precautions that applied to Athos, no pilgrims were allowed to come. But this summer Athos will finally open again and pilgrims are allowed to visit (most) monasteries again. I’m lucky enough to be joining the FoMA footpath clearing team this month, so I’ll be back on the Athos Peninsula on September 25th. And it was about time, because while I have a large archive of Athos photos, my own Athos pilgrimage content has almost completely dried up. But with some patience I managed to save some photos from the last trip in 2019 and some content for a very last post from the trip of 2019.

Dafni seen from above – drone footage by monk T

On October 4th 2019 we arrived in Dafni on time to leave for Ouranopolis, so I had some time to wander around in the small harbour village. I ended up at the Southern part of Dafni, where I saw some old dilapidated buildings. One of them was a church near a boathouse. Because the door was open I could enter the building and have a look inside.

Old dilapidated buildings in Dafni
Arsanas of the Simonospetras Monastery at Daphne. Russian Photographer, date unknown

This is the church that I visited in 2019, shown on an old photograph and seen from the jetty. I think this must in a time before the WWII, according to the fashion and hat from the man on the picture. The stairs that lead to the balcony on the second floor have since been removed.

But first, let me show you a floor plan of the Dafni building complex of Simonospetras: it comes from the new website simonopetrafoundation.org, where several projects of Simonospetras are presented in an absolutely beautiful website.

The church of All Saints in Dafni: nr 1
From the Simonopetras Foundation site

The Church of All Saints in Dafni: 4/10/2019

The church wrapped in construction cloths and surrounded by scaffolding. I now know that the church is dedicated to All Saints thanks to to the website mentionend above.

The Church of All Saints in Dafni: the stairs to the entrance
The Church of All Saints in Dafni: seen from the jetty and buildings 2 and 3: the Papayiannis building and the lumber storage
A close up of these two buildings: the lumber storage seems newly renovated
The church of All Saints with its boathouse and the Papayiannis building: they are connected to each other.
The boat house and the Papayiannis building

Let’s have a closer look inside the church of All Saints.

On the first floor, a room at the seaside, with al large fireplace
A room on the first floor with niches, neatly wihite plastered and with stained glass
The stairs that lead to the first floor: this part lies above the boat house
In a corner: beautiful doors with stained glass
The door that leads to the church and the first room above the boat house, with a view over the sea

A room on the second floor that overlooks the sea, with a small dome painted blue and a ceiling with only beams, From here you can go to the balcony.
The niche in the wall, with a (what we now all know) mouth cap, here ment to protect against dust, not Covid-19 (yet!).
A first iconostasis to enter the church, with a second, wooden iconostasis behind it, wrapped in plastic.
The balcony on the second floor, looking North
The balcony on the second floor, looking South
The actual church of All Saints, with its large dome in white, and with renovations in full progress
One of its thick outher walls, with a round top and a V-shaped window in it. There is almost no plaster on the walls left. On the right the second wooden iconostasis.

I am curious what the church looks like now, because in 2019 the Simonospetras Monastery started the renovation work and in the meantime three years have passed. In the photo below you can get an impression of what it will eventually look like. I wonder how far they are in renovating the whole complex. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to see it on my upcoming Footpath Clearing Trip, on returning to Ouranopolis.

An artist impression of the Dafni buildings of Simonospetras.

To end this post: this is a photo of mr Herman Hissink from Holland in the 70-ties, with the Church of All Saints and Dafni seen from dirt road that leads to Simonospetras (with Xeropotamou in the background).

Next time more about the others buildings of Simonsopetras in Dafni.

Wim Voogd, 12-9-2022

This entry was posted in 13 Simonos Petras, arsanas, Dafni, ruins and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to 2248 – the Dafni building complex of Simonospetras – part 1

  1. Gerard Koolschijn says:

    Thanks for the nice post, mr. Voogd.
    A pleasure also to see the old picture by Herman Hissink again!

    Gerard Koolschijn

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