2286 – Vatopedi’s Koi fish

In front of the main entrance of the Vatopedi monastery is a basin; a large pool. It was once a reservoir for the water mill, which is located at the bottom of the hill, near the harbour. But now it is a breeding ground for Koi fish. It’s not just something pleasant to look at, it’s also a business for the monks of Vatopedi. The monks raise the fish and sell them. I saw a lot of baby Koi’s in the pool. There seems to be a lot of money in the Koi-business. Depending on the stains, design, colours, some are worth a fortune. According to a website devoted to Koi fish they do anything between $10 and $20.000. The Japanese Koi can live up to 60 years, so I read.

When a monk starts feeding the Koi, around seven o’clock in the evening, they become very restless and noisy. Somehow they notice the monk coming with the food. They go berserk for a short time, but after a few minutes the pool becomes quiet again.

The Koi pool
The outside wall of the monastery with the pool
A pilgrim is watching the Koi fish. The pool is just behind the fence

Bas Kamps

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