On my last journey to Athos in September/October 2022 I spend one day in Thessaloniki. Because we published the photos of the photographer Boissonnas earlier on this weblog (1485), I made a visit to this small museum MOmus on the pier in the centre of town, where an exhibition of his work was on display.
It was a nice exhibition, but for me as a Athos-fan, I also expected some his pictures he made on Athos during his visits in 1928-1930. There were none, alas. But when leaving I saw at the entrance that a book was on sale with all his Athos-pictures. It was already published in 2006, but only in Greek , so it did not come to my attention yet. You can buy the book here.
Because I spend one week in Vatopedi together with my friends of the FoMA footpath team I tried to retake some of the pictures Fred Boissonnas took in 1928, so 94 years later. Let’s see how much has changed (or not!).
At the gate of monastery not many things have changed in the past 89 years, allthough there is a new cross on top of the dome of the chapel. Inside the gate there some new murals and outside on the left many Koi carps are swimming around, but otherwise things are still the same here.
What is striking that the amount of trees inside the monastery walls has increased substantially, and unfortunately they block the view. In the South West corner on the right you’ll see the two chapels of the Saints Theodori (upper level) and Minas (lower level). Here also are te guestrooms of the archondariki. This part of monastery is more or less in its original state and is not renovated yet. On the top floor of the tower our contact in the monastery, father Andrew lives.
Below I show some pictures of Vatopedi from 1928/30, that I didn’t make a double of on my last trip or that I don’t have a double of in my archive.
On the last picture you see a monk walking around the church with the traditional semantron, to announce that church service will start soon. What surprised me was that this act was not performed during the week I stayed in Vatopedi. Does that mean they have stopped this tradition?
Wim Voogd, 24-10-2022 (to my knowledge there is no copyright any more on showing these pictures, but if it does, please contact me).