2212 – new building activities in the centre of Karyes

The first time I visited Karyes in 1980 I saw, if I remember correctly, that there was still an old building opposite of the Protaton bell tower, next to the chapel of Ag. Nikolaos and the graveyard, here visible on this picture from 1941.

Karyes: left from the chapel of Ag. Nicholaos and behind the mule in the middle: the old building (photo from 1941?)

But when I visited Karyes afterwards, all I saw on this was an empty space, covered in weeds and grass. The old building had been removed.

Karyes 2009

This is how it looked like in 2009, when the empty spot on the left still was covered with grass.

Karyes 2011

The same (empty) spot on the left, now seen from the other side, with the konkaki of Filotheou on the right.

But today things look very different! On Facebook Prodromos Grigoriatis and our reader Vasílis shared a video, made on the 4th of July 2021, from which I took some stills.

Karyes 4/7/2021

This picture shows the main street of Karyes, with its shops and the car parking in the background: on the right there is a green fence, with a hole in it to look through.

Karyes 4/7/2021

If you look through the hole in the fence, you wil see a huge excavation the rock and massive construction activities by workers, preparing the foundations of a large building!

I wonder what will be build here? Rumor has it that it will be a large supermarket. If that is true, is it wise to build something like this on this historic site, that is under the protection of UNESCO? Who knows the answer?

Wim Voogd, 17/7/2021

Update 21/7/2021: today the concrete floor is sprayed on the steel reinforcement grid.

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2211 – Athos by monk Theodosios: Nature – Plants [1]

More exclusive pictures from the photo library of monk Theodosios:

Athos Forest in the Mist: by Theodosios
Rock Plants near Simonos Petras: 25-06 2006 by Theodosios
Flower of the American Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana) by Theodosios
Spring Flowers – Poppy (Papaver rhoeas): 21-05-2006 by Theodosios
Oak tree leaf in green plants, near St. Demetrios: 04-12-2004 by Theodosios
The Kitchen Garden of Simonos Petras by Theodosios
Trees in the winter at a junction near Karyes: 11-11-2003 by Theodosios
Sunset with cloud formations over the Athonite Bay with a silhouette of Thistles: 28-06-2005 by Theodosios

For more info about these pictures, please e-mail us.

Wim Voogd, 16th July 2021

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2210 – Athos by monk Theodosios: Nature – Animals [1]

To continue: from the extensive photo library of Theodosios:

Yellow-legged seagulls (Larus Michahellis) 1-7-2006 by Theodosios
Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) by Theodosios

Caterpillar of the butterfly ‘Old World swallowtail’ (Papilio machaon) 1-7-2004 by Theodosios
Bee-Hive Beetle (Trichodes alverius) on the flowers of Valerian 19-4-2004 by Theodosios
Horses and mules 11-6-2004 by Theodosios
Toad (Bufo bufo) by Theodosios
Jumping Delfins 24-7-2004 by Theodosios
A feather of a Jay 28-10-2005 by Theodosios
An Athos cat 8-3-2004 by Theodosios
Autumn color and a lonely mule: 8-12-2004 near Simonos Petras by Theodosios

Wim Voogd, Quatorze Julliet 2021

Please be noted: if you are interested in a original high quality print of a Theodosios picture, please contact us by e-mail.

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2209 – Athos by monk Theodosios: Presence of Man [1]

01- At the Old Russian Monastery, 14-07-2005
02 – The kitchen garden of Simonos Petras, 22-04-2004
03 – Karyes Painted Sign: Restaurant/Estiatorion, Hotel/Xenodocheion, ‎23-07-2003
04 – Inside the Katholicon, 15-08-2003
05 – Chairs, Simonos Petras, 22-04-2004
06 – rusted fence, 9-12-2003
07 – At the Old Russian Monastery, 15-07-2005
08 – Arsanas of Simonos Petras, 30-10-2004

If you are interested in obtaining a high quality resolution print of the Theodosios pictures, please contact me by e-mail and I will foreward your request to him (more information: see Shop, oldest item).

Wim Voogd, 11/07/2021

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2208 – Athos by monk Theodosios: Portrets of People [1]

Old Athos monk by Theodosios
SIMONOS PETRAS 24th March 2004 by Theodosios
Old Athos monk by Theodosios
A young boy and an Athos monk by Theodosios
Athos monk with a rose: 2nd of June 2004 by Theodosios
Visit of Abott Elisaios to the Romanian Skete – photo in the Church: 5th of March 2006 by Theodosios
The Prince of Wales, Prince Charles, drinking a glass of Tsipourou: 2004 (?), photo by Theodosios

Wim Voogd, 5th of July 2021

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2207 – postcards from Athos: part three

In part one and two – posts 2205 and 2206 – I showed you the postcards from the first 17 monasteries. In this post I will present the postcards of the remaing three: nr 18, Esfigmenou, nr 19, Panteleimonos or Roussikon (with a large amount of postcards), and the 20th monastery, Konstamonitou (also called Kastamounitou). And to finish the postcards-posts I will publish some images from skitis and other places on Athos.

18 Esfigmenou

Esfigmenou, date unknown, aerial picture
Esfigmenou, date unknown, by “Editeur J.S. Varsano, Salonique” in French and Arabic language
Esfigmenou, date unknown, number 22, in French and English
Esfigmenou, date unknown, colered photograph, in Greek (Holy Mountain, the katholicon of Esfigmenou) and French (souvenir from Saloniki) with two (later added and painted) Greek flags on the roofs

19 Panteleimonos

This aerial photo showed Panteleimonos, after the big fires in 1968, that destroyed the beautifull waiting room of the guesthouse and the parts of the monastery itself.

Read more about the 1968 fire in this post. The following old postcards are are from before 1968, with all the buildings of the monastery still intact.

Panteleimonos, date unknown, in Greek, seen from from the North
Panteleimonos, date unknown, in Russian and French , seen from from the North, with a Greek stamp
Panteleimonos, date unknown, in Greek and French, seen from the South
Panteleimonos, date unknown, in Russian and French, seen from the South, in full color
Panteleimonos, date unknown, the archondariki is burned
Panteleimonos, 1913 by Stéphane Passet, probably not a postcard, but a fine picture anyway. Read more about this expedition to Athos in post 1973.
Panteleimonos, date unknown, almost at the same spot as the picture above and most likely taken in the same period. At the white building in the middle some bushes lack on the photograph, so this one might be earlier then 1913.
Panteleimonos, date unknown, colered: we are closing in on the monastery with its bell tower and domes of the churches
Panteleimonos, date unknown, French nr 29:, black and white: almost at the same spot as the postcard above, now with many monks posing for the picture
Panteleimonos, date unknown, colered: in Russian and French: the South coast, with the large courtyard/garden behind the archondariki and with the gate
Panteleimonos, date unknown, in Russian and French ,colored: probably the same maker as the postcard above. The katholicon with the bell tower and the double church in the right corner
Panteleimonos, date unknown, in Russian and French, colored: also probably the same maker as the postcard above. The interior of the double church, here called the “Pokrov” church
Panteleimonos, colored, 17 October 1918, in Russian and French, with a stamp, probably the same maker as the three postcards above. Here is the East part of the monastery, with the church of the Archangels and the four Hierarchs (Metropolitans of Moscow). The large building on the left is a general storehouse and and place for the workers. Until recently it was in ruins, nowadays it is completely renovated.
Panteleimonos, date unknown, in Russian and French: probably the same maker as the four postcards above. Here is a picture of the interior, with 9 monks in he hospital. With a written text: Souvenir Du mont Athos
Panteleimonos, date unknown, in Greek and French, black and white: almost at the same spot as the postcard above
Panteleimonos, date unknown, in French: Paris Av. de Breteuil 4, Conseil gé des Pelerinages (General Council of Pilgrims). The pilgrims accompanied by the abbot leave the monastery Roussikon.
Panteleimonos, date unknown, in French: The domes of the monastery of the Russians: Paris Av. de Breteuil 4, Conseil gé des Pelerinages (General Council of Pilgrimages) with the chapel of Ag. Mitrofanis of Voróni and the double church
Panteleimonos, date unknown, with the katholicon and its typical green and yellow color and the front of the chapel of Ag. Mitrofanis of Voróni
The backside of the postcard above with the written text: Czarina – soldiers

Panteleimonos, date unknown, French: this probably a photograph taken in the photo studio of the monastery, where two Dutch pilgrims found a treasure with (mostly broken) old glass-negatives in 1976 – for more information see post 861 and 862. On the last photo in post 862 you can recognize the same piece of furniture as on this picture.

20 Konstamonitou

Konstamonitou, date unknown, full color: aerial picture of this small and often forgotten monastery. That is why only two postcards are found on the internet. We can see the gate and the West and South wing.
Konstamonitou, date unknown, colerd, in Greek and French . Here the name of the monastery is spelled Kastamonitou. Here we see the East and the South wing.Under the dome left is the entrance to the monastery. The dome on the other side is not present at the first postcard above.

This last picture from December 1956 of a monastery is riddle to me, because I could not determine which monastery it might be. Lavra perhaps? Who can help?

A Dafni

Dafni, date unknown, the main port of Athos, aerial picture, with the customs office still on the pier to control all pilgrims. I see no cars, so this must be before 1963. Here a quay wall is build, on the next picture you still can see a beach-like coast.
Dafni, date unknown, in Greek and French, colered: I think this even is an older postcard, bcause you see a sailing boat with masts (and no cars either), only a beach, no quay wall.

B Skiti Andreou

Skiti Andreou, date unknown, seen from the North in Kapsala, with Andreou left from the middle of this photo, and the right the large Russian kelli of St. Chrysostomos, now totally in ruins.
Skiti Andreou, 1962, aerial picture, with the newly build road to Dafni in the background
Skiti Andreou, date unknown, seen from the West, with the kitchen gardens

Skiti Andreou, 1981: excact the same picture, with completely different colors!

C Nea skiti

Nea skiti, date unknown, seen from the South
Nea skiti, 1953, nr 256,in Greek and French, with the bell tower and the kariakon , novelle skiti de St Paul Mt Athos Athos

With the written text, in German: “habe die Adresse verlegt, gebt sie bitte Frau Neuss” meaning : I have misplaced the address, please give it to Ms. Neuss.

D Skiti Agia Anna

Nea skiti, 1911, in Greek and French
Skiti Anna, date unknown, nr 218, in Greek and French, La skite de st Anne Mt Athos
Skiti Anna, Paris Av. de Breteuil 4, Conseil gé des Pelerinages (General Council of Pilgrimages) , Le skite sainte-Anne et le sommet de L’Athos couronné de neige (with the top of the mountain covered in snow).

E Skiti Prodromou

skiti Prodromou, date unknown, aerial photograph, in Rumenian
skiti Prodromou, date unknown, seen from the Sout

According to me this might very near the spot where the German army had their flag position, overlooking the Eastern and Southern coast of Athos. Soon after the Second World War the place was demolished. Could the stones at the foreground be a parts of it, or should we look for pieces of concrete (more to the edge on the Soutern part of this ridge?). I am determined to find this place once!

skiti Prodromou, date unknown, aerial view of an artist impression. The top of the mountain is on the wrong spot and the tower at the entrance is too high!

F Skiti Profitou Eliou

Skiti Profitou Eliou, date unknown, fulll color, seen from the West
Skiti Profitou Eliou, date unknown, fulll color , seen from the South

G Miscellaneous postcards

The top of Mount Athos, with Lavra, date unknown, aerial photograph
Mount Athos, with Lavra,, now with the text Mont Athos in French and dated 14 August 1984.On the backside a written text in English
Mount Athos, date unknown, from Unesco, with a Chinese text?
Athos postcard with different monasteries, date unknown
Agiou Vasiliou,1980
Kaliagra – arsanas Koutloumousiou, date unknown, with the summit in the background
Kellia near Karyes: I am not shure if this is right description of the location.
Athos, West coast, date unknown: in French and English, ND Phot, Visé Paris no 65: it is difficult to say where this is excactly, somewhere at the harbor of Jovanitsa maybe of closer to Ouranopolis?
Two novices (?) 13-2-1935, probably from the photo studio of Panteleimonos
A shoemaker monk, 1953, place unknown
An Athos monk, 1983
Kelli Nicholas Bourazeri, 21-8-1905, in Russian, with a French stamp, and the written text: Vue du Mont Athos

The large kelli lays near Karyes: you can see the building on the foreground has scaffolds and is not finished yet. The workers threw large amounts of building material in front of this building. The fine bell tower has disappeared in the meanwhile, but behind it a beautiful new church is build recently.

The backside of this postcard, send to France Marseille, with a post stamp of the German post in Constantinopel (?)
Kelli Nicholas Bourazeri, date unknown, in Russian,colored. Here the building on the previous postcard is finished.

This ends the overview of Athos postcards over the centuries, I hope you liked it.

Wim Voogd, 10-6-2021

Posted in 18 Esfigmenou, 19 Panteleimonos, 20 Konstamonitou, Dafni, kellia, Nea Skiti, Prodromou, Skiti Andreou, Skiti Anna, Skiti Profitou Eliou | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

2206 – postcards from Athos: part two

In part one – post 2205 – I showed you the postcards I found on the internet of Karyes and the first eight monasteries. In part two the next monastery is:

09 Sografou

Sografou, 1917, made by Zepdji photographe, Editeur Rollet Lyon, visé Paris nr 3046 and 251, in French

This is fourth postcard from Zepdji. Until now I discovered three other postcards made by Zepdji in 1917: one from Vatopedi (see last post), one from Docheiariou and one from Karakallou. These postcards are made during World War I, when Athos was under the occupation of a French/Russian army, as we will notice from the written text on the backside of this postcard.

28 May 1917, almost 104 years ago: a French text on the backside of the postcard

My French is not good but in the middle of the text I can read this: “je suis en bonne santée” and “hier nous avons de bombardes par les aviont” etc. meaning something like: “I am in good health” and “yesterday we have been bombared by airplanes”. Who can help translating the complete text? (thanks DD from France for translating the complete text: read his comment).

Most photographs from the Sografou monastery are made from the hill opposite the monastery and show us the West wing, with on the left the annex where the kitchen just be (at least in 1980).

Sografou, date unkown, in Greek and English, black and white picture

On this postcard, probably made later then 1917, another annex is added one floor higher to the West wing of the monastery. Left is the North wing, with the entrance. On the top of the oval protruding part in the West wing is the trapeza (with a dome).

Sografou, date unkown, in full color
Sografou, date unknown, aerial photo

Next to the gate in the North wing, you seen long streched building, where the archondariki is situated. Nowadays it is completely renovated and luxurious. The other houses are for workers/laymen.

Sografou, date unknown

On this postcard you can see the roof of the trapeza with its dome and on the right the katholicon. On the foreground the South wing of the monastery. This picture is probably shot from the opposite hill with a telelens.

10 Docheiariou

Docheiariou, postcard from 24-11-1918, made by P. Zepdji by Rollet, Lyon, in French and English

Although this postcard has been published before in post 1065, I added it again because I want to bring all the Zepdji postcards together. This one differs from the other because it had no numbers on it and also is in English. Could it a be (illegal) copy of the original?

Docheiariou, date unknown, in color

Photo taken from the sea with the arsanas buildings

Docheiariou, date unknown, in color

This photo is almost identical to the previous, taken from a slight different angle.

Docheiariou, date unknown, in color

Here the tree in front of the boat house has been felled and new tree grows next to the house on the right: a picture taken in a later year probably.

Docheiariou, date unknown, aerial photo
Docheiariou, date unknown, aerial photo

Aerial photo, with building activities/scaffolds at the boat house. The pier has been enlarged and a small one has been added, to create a tiny harbor. Luckily the ugly red construction crane is not this postcard. I do not know when they put it next to he North wall, from 2007 until now I have been spotting this disfiguring red monster. Is it allowed to let stand there, in Unesco heritage site, for more then a decade?

Photo by Wim Voogd, 2007

11 Karakallou

Karakallou, 1917, made by Zepdji photographe, editeur Rollet, Lyon, visé Paris nr 3042 and 199, in French: with the text: “Souvenier d’Oriente Jamet?es?”

The text on this card resembles the text that was used by soldier “Pierre” on his postcard of Vatopedi in 1917, which I showed you in part one of post 2205, postcard nr 12. Could they have known each other as a soldier of the French army and copied each others massages on the front of the postcard?

Karakallou, 1917, made by Zepdji photographe, editeur Rollet, Lyon, visé Paris nr 3042 and 199, in French: with the text: “pouvoir tu ? ? quelques ? ? ?

Another Zepdji postcard from 1917, with another French partially legible text on the postcard: “pouvoir tu ? ? quelques ? ? ?”. The photo shows the North wall of the monastery. In the background you can probably see kellion Timiou Stavrou.

Karakallou, date unknown, color

On this postcard the South and East wall is photographed.

12 Filotheou

Philotheou, date unknown, in Greek and French, colered

On this postcard the South and East wall, with the gate, is photographed.

Filotheou, date unknown, aerial photo, color

Much has changed in the meantime, as you see on the 3D model from Google earth below. In the empty corner left a building (S/W corner) has been added and lower part of the opposite wing has been transformed in a two floor building(North wing).

3D model of Filotheou from Google Earth: the South and West walls.

13 Simonospetras

Simonospetras, 1935, black and white
Simonospetras, date unknown, in full color
Simonospetras, date unknown, in full color

The three postcards are almost identical, only the climbing plant on the right wall in the first photo is smaller.

14 Agiou Paulou

Agiou Paulou, date unknown, colored, in Greek and French
Agiou Paulou, date unknown, full color
Agiou Paulou, date unknown, full color

Three postcards from the same spot/angle, almost identical to each other. The facade and the the buildings at the entrance have been altered and the large pine tree in front of the kiosk has been felled or has fallen.

15 Stavronikita

Stavronikita, 1984, in color, with a monk and a small boat, a Greek kaik, on the foreground
Stavronikita, date unknown, in color: East and South walls
Stavronikita, date unknown, aerial photo, in color

Stavronikita is my favorite monastery, one of the only remaining, without electricity inside the monastery. Nothing has changed here until today, luckily.

16 Xenofontos

Xenofontos, date unknown

This postcard shows the long Eastern wall of the monastery: the right part of this wall does not contain buildings, as is common with Athos monasteries. Until recently the North wall also only consisted of a wall, but nowadays part is filled by a new building (more information in post 2062). In the background the islands of Amouliani appear and the Greek mainland in the North.

Xenofontos, date unknown, black and white, in French and English: “Visé Paris, nr 69 = ND Phot.”
Xenofontos, date unknown, aerial photograph
Xenofontos, date unknown, West wall, colored, In Greek and French
Xenofontos, date unknown, colered, in Greek and French

17 Grigoriou

Grigoriou, date unknown: Mont-Athos Conseilgé des Pélerinages, 4 Av. de Breieuil, Paris: Le Monastery de
St- Paul: added number 2387

Mistakes were made even in old times: here a French postcard printed in Paris shows us Grigoriou and the text mentions: St-Paul.

Grigorioi, 13th may 1988: card sent to England

This is clearly a postcard bought by tourists who do not visit Athos, as we can learn from the text: Edith goes shopping and window gazing in the morning and spend the afternoon on the beach!

Grigoriou, date unknown

What is interesting om this postcard is the old tower on the right side of the monastery, whitch is even better visible on the next two postcards.

Grigoriou, date unknown
Grigoriou, date unknown

On both full color postcards you can see the old ruined and high tower stil standing. It has been removed in the meanwhile, as you can see on the picture below from 2019:

Grigoriou, 2019, photo Wim Voogd

Maybe the old tower is a remnant of the great fire from 1761, when the old parts of the monastery were distroyed totally. I am not sure when the ruin of the old tower is removed. According to the other pictures of Grigoriou that I have in my archive, I could find out that the ruins of this tower has been demolished between 1909 and 1956. What is assuring about Grigoriou that the iconical palm tree is seen on almost every picture!

Wim Voogd, 28th May 2021

Posted in 09 Sografou, 10 Docheiariou, 11 Karakallou, 12 Filotheou, 13 Simonos Petras, 14 Paulou, 15 Stavronikita, 16 Xenofontos, 17 Grigoriou | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

2205 – postcards from Athos: part one

Sending a postcard home was in former days a way to let friends and family know where you have been and a pilgrimage to Athos is no exception to this tradition. As early as 1905 the first postcards from Athos appear, mostly with a text in French. The early cards with photos were mostly printed abroad or I presume, in Thessaloniki. I wonder where you could buy these postcards back then, I think it would not have been easy the find them. There is one card of Iviron that gives us a clue (see below).

On our weblog we showed you in previous posts already many other postcards, for example in post 1334: 66 postcards of all 20 monasteries. Today I will present (in this part one) a few more (old) postcards, not only from all monasteries, but also from the “capital” Karyes and (later) from some skities:

00 – Karyes

Karyes, 1922
Karyes in full color, with Greek and French texts: 6th February 1926, from Raymond Jaloniques

On both postcards you can see that the current building of the Holy Epistatia with its white stairs, left from the old tower where the ‘Tragos’ is kept and the bell tower of the Protaton-church, is not build yet.

Karyes: seen from the South, date unknown
Karyes, in Greek and French, date unknown: with skiti Andreou and the Protaton
Karyes, 1957: the Protaton interior, sent from Turkey (see the stamps) by “Le professeur”
Not actually a postcard, but a serie of 16 pictures from the Athonias academy in Karyes
Karyes: nr 16: pupils/novices on the stairs of the Athonias academy

01- Lavra

Lavra: with a postage stamp canceled in 1963: the Katholicon on the stamp and the photo. The stamp memorates the 1000 years celebrations of the founding of Athos in Lavra in 963.
Lavra: date unknown, Greek, with the grave of Ag. Athanasios and the phiale.
Lavra: date unknown, a view from above, with the ossuary in front.

02 – Vatopedi

Vatopedi: 1917, made by Zepdji in Lyon, photograph by Rollet, visé Paris nr 3043 and 252: Text: “Souvenir d’Oriente Pierre”
This postcard is written during World War I here is the backside of this postcard (in French).

In 1917 a French/Russian army occupied Mount Athos (see post 1950). Maybe this postcard is written by one of the soldiers.

Vatopedi 1957: in Greek and English, seen from the South
Vatopedi, date unknown, in full color
Vatopedi: date unknown, in black and white
Vatopedi, date unknown: the courtyard wit katholicon and bell tower, in black and white
Vatopedi, date unknown (about 1940?): a group of pilgrims with monks posing for the photo
Vatopedi, date unknown: Greek, in color, the katholicon, trapeze and general view.
Vatopedi, date unknown, aerial photograph, entrance and East wing in front

03 – Ivirón

Ivirón: date unknown, aerial photo

What is striking here is that this picture showes the South wall. Most pictures are from the Eastern or Northern walls. Visible is a large brown elevation (rocks?), that end at a green area close to the wall. Behind it a gap is filled up by a red wall, while at most monasteries the courtyards are completely surrounded by buildings. Nowadays this area has been cleared totally and a new building has been added at the red wall, as you can see on the aerial photo I took in 2017:

Iviron 2017 – photo Wim Voogd: Eastern (sea) side and South side. The East-area has been cleared and roads lead up to the walls nowadays.
Ivirón, date unknown, North wall, Greek and French texts

The gap in the Southern wall is clearly visible here. The old tower is, just as on the postcard below, still in ruins.

Ivirón, date unknown, North wings and the gate/entrance
Ivirón, date unknown

This picture shows a part of the arsanas left, the East wing of Ivirón, now with the renovated tower in the background.

Ivirón, date unknown, with the renovated tower and a text in French: “acheter cette carte a un village a 30 K. envions (?) a Salonique”, translated: this card was bought in a town 30 km from Saloniki
Ivirón, date unknown: East wing, published by Olympic Airways
The arsanas of Ivrirón

04 – Chilandariou

Chilandariou, date unknown, linocut made by Reinhold Zwerger (1924-2009)

You can read more about the artist Reinhold Zwerger and Athos-map maker in post 1339.

Chilandariou, date unknown: before the great fire from March 2004
Chilandariou, date unknown: here the bigger trees take away the view of the wall and tower

05 – Dionysiou

Dionysiou, date unknown: this Greek postcard shows parts of the Apocaliptic scenes from the Bible book of John
Dionysiou, date unknown, aerial view: the compact size of the monastery is clearly visible.
Dionysiou, date unknown, black and white: inside the trapeza

06 – Koutloumousiou

Koutloumousiou: 1899, in French: an early postcard with an overview of Athos and the top of the Holy Mountain. Also with a couple of steam/sailships, and a small image of the monastery, decorated with nice purple flowers
Koutloumousiou, 1928, in Greek and French
Koutloumousiou, date unknown: the East and North wings
Koutloumousiou, date unknown: seen from the air. The green plants in the courtyard look like grape vines on a pergola (?)

07 – Pantocratoros

Pantocratoros, date unknown: the arsanas and the monastery
Pantocratoros, date unknown: photo almost from the same angle
Pantocratoros, date unknown, the East wing, with red and yellow colors
Pantocratoros, date unknown, Greek and French text: the North wing, with Stavronikita and the Holy Mountain in the background.

08 – Xiropotamou

Xiropotamou, date unknown: Greek postcard, with a relic and the phiale and bell/clock tower
Xiropotamou, date unknown, Greek: the West wing and kitchen gardens
Xiropotamou, dat unknown, in Greek and French nr 215: the entrance in the South wing, with a pergola with vines
Xiropotamou, date unknown: aerial photo wth the extended kitchen gardens, North and West wings

Wim Voogd, 25-05-2021

Posted in 01 Lavra, 02 Vatopedi, 03 Iviron, 04 Chilandariou, 05 Dionysiou, 06 Koutloumousiou, 07 Pantocratoros, 08 Xiropotamou, Karyes, monasteries | Tagged , | Leave a comment

2204 – the hike from Dafni to Xiropotamou

In 1980 I visited the Holy Mountain for the first time and Ivíron was the first monastery I stayed in. Thirtynine years later I finally visited the last monastery of the 20, Xiropotamou. Although the monastery is easy to reach from Dafni (only 2.1 km, a hike a little more then half an hour), many pilgrims pass this place whilst traveling in the bus to Karyes or taking a boat further down the coast. So I am not the only one who completes the tour of the 20 monasteries with a visit to this, I am sad to say and also according to other pilgrims, rather inhospitable monastery. Not that they are unfriendly, because on our arrival we were treaded with a lovely lunch by a English speaking archondaris from Georgia and later with a beautiful room, but for us non-orthodox pilgrims the church and trapeza were kept closed and any contact with monks was avoided meticulously. Even a group of orthodox pilgrims, who asked politely to see the katholicon, were denied to have a look and left disappointed and a little frustrated, before hiking to a next destination.

But anyway, we started our hike from Dafni: the first part leads along the dirt road to Karyes. Soon after the arsanas of Xiropotamou a kalderimi goes up to the monastery.

The path going up to Xiropotamou monastery, standing on the bridge over a dried-up bed of a brook.

The dried-up bed of the brook that leads to the arsanas

The old stones of the kalderimi, fairly intact

Along the path: a praying mantis

The West wing of Xiropotamou seen from the kalderimi

The fence at the end of the kalderimi: here it goes down to Dafni

The main entrance to the monastery

The special gargoyle at the South/West corner: a dragon?

An old picture of Xiropotamou: the tower of the portico building is still in ruins at that time. This ruinous state of this part of the monastery is still confirmed by the plan made by Feigl in 1980.

From: Feigl Athos: Vorhölle zum Paradies 1982

On the Feigl plan of the monastery you can also see that the old path/monopati from Dafni continues here to Karyes. Some parts of this path should still be in use, as you can see on the two maps from Zwerger and Howorth (marked with a red line). I wonder if anybody recently walked on these paths on a hike to Karyes?

The archondariki building left of the entrance (builing U) is totally renewed nowadays, as you see on the next picture, that I took during my flight over Athos in 2017.

Xiropotamou, 2017

On a picture above from the main gate you can see that on the right side of the main entrance a new wall, with vines growing in front of it. This is how this place looked like in 1928, according to this postcard.

On this aerial photo (below right) is clear that the old wall and building has been removed totally at some point.

Wim Voogd, 15-5

Posted in 08 Xiropotamou, Dafni, Trip 2019, walking | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

2203 – After the Corona lock-down: Athos reopens partially from May 11th 2021

Dark skies over Athos will disappear soon

Update 25/06, thanks to our reader Japetus:

For the time being, no covid vaccination certificate, private pcr test, selftest etc. are accepted to enter Athos.
All visitors -with no exception whatsoever- are required prior to receiving their diamoniteria to undertake a -free- rapid test from a post located just outside the diamonitiria office. To all those with negative results, a receipt is given which presenting it is required both at the diamonitiria issuing office as well as when boarding the ship.


Finally some good news: Orthodoxia News Agency has just reported that the Holy Mountain will again receive pilgrims from tomorrow, May 11, 2021. The lock-down period ends today, May 10th. However, there are restrictions:

  1. for each monastery ten diamonitiria/visitors,
  2. for each koinobitic skiti five,
  3. for each idiorritmic skiti two and
  4. for each kelli or hermitage one diamonitírion/visitor.

Hiking/travelling from one monastery to another is still forbidden, you can only visit one monastery. The restrictions include the mandatory tests for the coronavirus at the entry points of the Holy Mountain, with only those with negative results beiing allowed to enter.

According mr Lolis Christos from the Pilgrimsoffice in Ouranopolis/Thessaloniki these few special permits are given by the monasteries or skitis/cells themselves. We will have wait a little more until the general permits to visit Athos reopen.

For a few pilgrims this is good news, let’s hope that the general permit for all pilgrims will be back soon.

Wim Voogd, 10-11 May 2021

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