Friday, June 29, 2007

Don't be confused

Don't be confused and think the previous pictures were a excemption... No, the everyday life of this particular H.Monastery includes hard work for its monks and anyone else wants to join, even for a day! The above picture has taken the second day we spent at H.M. Doheiariou and the monks, after finished fixing the roof, trying the interior of the new building.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Hard work!

This picture shows the progress of the monks fixing the roof, as they are using tissues to prevent from rainfall.
The amazing thing was that the leader monk of the H.Monastery asked them to work all day as rain was expected. I was afraid to photograph them at 11.00 pm still working...

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


My next move was to look around and check the rest of the horizon.
This - above - picture surprised me as I hadn't seen anything like this before and made me think what exactly these H.Monasteries stand for...
I asked immediately the people I was travelling together and they informed me that is a regular activity for the monks of this particular H.Monastery!
After the morning service, they change clothes and start fixing anything is for fixing!!!
I realised the true myth behind the monks: they should take care of everything that need to be taken care...
They are always on my mind since I took this picture.
Anyone who thinks they need more help should give them a hand, they deserve it!

Monday, June 25, 2007


The monks of the H.M. Doheiariou show their strict behaviour to every visitor. This is their main difference from other H.Monasteries.
Although the people I travelled with were well-known to the monks, their only distinction was to give us a room with excellent view to the sea.
Enjoy the pix!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Closer view

This photo shows the real beauty of H.M.Doheiariou from the point of view of construction.
The site used for its constuction is a downing hill, where a huge building is hidden and its size may confuse the viewer.
On the right side - outside the H.Monastery - you find the lundry, kitchen and other facilities.
Just on the left of the picture exists the refurnished dock building (called "arsanas").
On the left side, it's the crane which established for heavy and long-lasting use.
Anywhere you see blue-brown colours indicates the guest houses, these next to the sea have the ultimate priviledge, together with the large dinning room. The other stand on the top of the building next to the old-fashioned tower, which provided with the necessary sight the previous centuries against mostly pirates.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

H.M. Doheiariou (again)

Another view of the H.M. Doheiariou as the ferry approaches.
This was the last H.Monastery we visited and showed me the real picture of being a monk. There will be posts explaining what I mean.
The uselless information: this H. Monastery - together with another one I don't remember - hasn't ever been under fire, a real achievement!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Just a quick post especially for Mount Athos!
As you see it is Mount of Athos covered with clouds.. and as all travelling captains say, you see it from anywhere from the north Aegean Sea! It's huge!

Thursday, June 14, 2007


This picture reveals a mystery!
You notice the time shown: it's 15:55
If you check the properties of the picture taken, you realise a completely different time: 12:35
Or, a time difference of something like 3:30h exists!
Someone told me that the time shown is "Byzantine Empire Time Zone"... I don't have much to add..
P.S. The picture is from the Russian H.Monastery


The most spectacular H.M. was the Russian one! The H.M. Agios Panteliemonas!
Apart from its unique architecture, it is its size that ..matters!
As one may see it consists of huge constructions that are under continuous construction and reconstruction as vast amount of money arrive from the motherland. President Putin himself shows enormous interest on the H.Monasteries with russian roots and visited the area a couple of times the last years.
Another interesting fact is that this H.Monastery used to occupy more than a thousand monks at the beginning of the 20th century while the number of monks at Mount Athos today is just above this figure.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


I'm sure some of the visitors of this blog may wonder where Mount Athos' visitors rest and sleep!
Every H.Monastery has refurnished its facilities the last decade and all visitors have access to rooms. There are rooms with up to five beds and somehow the whole situation resembles of the scouts of our youth.
Remember to book in advance at every H.Monastery you would like to visit as the number of beds is limited and have in mind there are certain days for each H.Monastery that visitor fill in any available space!
The above photo has taken at the guest house of H.Monastery Iviron where we stayed for three nights.
Don't look in it carefully!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Famous visitors

Apart from visitors from all over the world, there are always special guests to the Mount Athos.
In the above picture you see the President of the Hellenic Republic, Mr.Papoulias, together with the Austrian President who visited Greece formally the previous month.
Mr. Papoulias joined his visit to Mount Athos, where they had the opportunity to enter H.M. Iviron, to discuss with the monks and have a small idea of the ancient treasuries the H.Monastery holds for more than a millenium.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Η.Μ. Vatopediou

View of the catholic of the H.M. Vatopediou.
This H.M. may be the richest Monastery around Mount Athos! As we say in Greece "money, caugh and love cannot be hidden"!
The priest of the above catholic narrated to us several interesting stories of the H.Monastery and it was a pitty we run out of time...

Tuesday, June 5, 2007


Moving around Mount Athos may be tiring as walking, climbing and special preparation is needed. Alternativelly, visitors can use taxi services for fast - and expensive also - moving, after an arrangement In the above photo you can see the taxi we used to visit H.M. Vatopediou.

Monday, June 4, 2007


Although it's not a brilliant picture (I took it in the morning..), you may see the farm next to the H.M. Iviron.
Every H.M. should take care of itself, its monks and visitors, so farming, fishing, gathering etc. are everyday vital activities.
If you look closer at the forest next to H.Monastery, it is a it was the last centuries... Untouched!

Friday, May 25, 2007

H.M. Iviron

First visit to a H.Monastery!
H.M. Iviron, one of the biggest and most famous H.Monastries, opens tis doors realtively easy.
Its location, close to the sea and around a local river, offers many opportunities but the threat for several centuries found in the name of pirates.
Huge construction, well protected, with more than 25 monks in its crew, H.M. Iviron has been under heavy reconstuction, as most of the buildings of Mount Athos. As seen in the photo, it's the the north side!
If you take a walk around, you 'll notice some signs with the establishment of every reconstucted area, which took place just the last decade. Enormous funding mostly from E.U. counted.
Apart from monks, H.Monastery consists of a special Mary's icon called Panagia Portaitissa, a rare architecture style, interesting facts concerning the everyday life inside, dozens of visitors and a lose spiritual activity, which usually starts at 4:00 a.m. None is obliged to follow, in line with Jesus messages.
The H.Monastery found in about the 10th century A.C. from monks of Georgia (Russia).

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The road to Karies

From the port of Dafni, you can use the bus line to Karies for only €3!
Despite ths dusty roads, the trip takes almost half an hour while you may watch the untouched mother nature everywhere.
Noone is building wherever he likes and the physical environment is unchanged since the last time a thunder stroke, or a wildfire occured.

Dafni port

After more than an hour, depending on the weather and the wind, the ferry from Ouranoupoli finally gets at the port of Dafni, the main port of Mount Athos.
Few 4-wheel drives, goods and mostly people, monks and visitors, put their feet on the mainland.
There, apart from the Coast Guard and the Custom Service, visitors reach the bus line. Next destination usually is Karies, the Administrative Centre of Mount Athos.
There is no significant interest at the port of Dafni and it is used only as a transfer point around.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Seaway is the main transportation system around Mount Athos.
Everyday, from the port of Ouranoupoli, a ferry begins a journey to the port of Dafni and back.
The photo shows visitors and monks while waiting for the ferry to Dafni. The dock belongs to H.M. Zografou and also the H.M. Esfigmenou uses it.
From every dock, visitors and monks may walk to their destination or a 4-wheel drive waits there usually after an arrangement.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

H.M. Doheiariou

Left view of the H.Monastery Doxeiariou as the ferry from Ouranoypoli approaches only after docked for a minute at H.M. Zografou's dock.
Excellent position near the sea, the dock (the major buliding of the three on the right of the H.Monastery) and the beach.
Surrounded by the "jungle" of Mount Athos, where no woman has ever been there after the visit of the mother of Jesus, Mary!
The forest around seems untouched for the last 10 centuries!

Map of Mount Athos

Panorama of the twenty H.Monasteries found at Mount Athos since 1000 A.C.!


I have no clear idea on this newest blog... My strong interest is to help some people I met recently and my thinking suggests they need as much help as it can be provided. What I have on my mind is the Monasteries of Agio Oros or Mount Athos, where I had my first ever visit the previous week. There, I 've been impressed by the monks of the Holly Monastery of Doheiariou, a small monastery near the mainland at the north of Mount Athos, next to the sea.