The Athonias was founded in 1749 and the first building was erected on the top of a hill northeast of Vadopedi, where its imposing ruins still exist today. In the beginning it was well known because of the progressive educational methods of Eugenios Voulgaris, the director of the Athonias from 1753–1759. However, conservative circles of Mount Athos were encouraged to come out openly against the progressive educational methods of Voulgaris. By the end of the 18th century the rate of literacy in Mount Athos had declined and the traditional local circles became hostile towards the progressive teaching in the Athonias. Already 72 later, in 1821, the Athonias was closed, when the Greek War of Independence broke out. It reopened in 1845 in Karyes. Since 1821 the large building slowly fell in ruins….. On the drawing below you can see how it once looked (also have a look here).
During my last visit to the Holy Mountain together with the Friends of Mount Athos I could visit the ruins and take a short hike from Vatopedi to Athonias (on Sunday afternoon 25th of September 2022).
Before going to the the ruins of the Athonias, you’ll see the aqueduct that provided fresh water from the opposite hill:
Wim Voogd, 30-12-2022
To all our readers: we wish you a healthy and peacefully new year, maybe we will meet once on the Holy Mountain (in September 2023?)