With eyes turned on the orchard of Virgin Mary, Mount Athos

With eyes turned on the orchard of Virgin Mary, Mount Athos

©George Dryjohn Photographer

Photographing took place in the monasteries of Kostamonitou, Dochiariou and Xenophontos as well as in the surrounding areas with photographic equipment Pentax

It’s dawning Friday.

The cold hugs her breath, tightening her, like her mother’s virgin girl.

Ouranoupolis.

Wrinkles everywhere, foreign, domestic, mingling with each other, nervously looking for the coveted place, ticket on the trip to the balcony of God, Mount Athos.

Hundreds of souls go every day to this particular place, searching for atonement, sometimes the hope of answers, sometimes the ultimate thing.

Mount Athos

The Mount does not make an appointment, it does not typically welcome, it speaks briefly, almost indefinitely, sometimes it only nods, letting you, pick you the path that will lead you to your own redemption.

Every Stone in the Mount has its meaning, you believe God had it in her face, and one morning she let her go to this blasted place, observing her luck since then in the hands of man.

The sound of the anchor that will hurriedly tie in the harbor equally covering the bass of the culture that I leave behind me.
His voice, like a small sparrow that whispers: Welcome…”

Poem by George Dryjohn

The enigmatic place of Hellenism for women, fulfilling apprenticeship for a more conscious life for men.

Unconstructed monasteries hanging in the forests, which, while they look deserted, are bloated by life of men looking for answers with the eyes of soul and mind.

by Evageline Plakas


What is that they see, the eyes of every visitor, Greek and foreign, of different social disturbances and occupations in Mount Athos with shallow eyes, with spiritual eyes, with a search that never ends, loyal and unfaithful men, travelers, walkers, nature lovers, explorers, pilgrims, hagiographers, people lost in the demands of society that find shelter, ordinary people, people of intellect, Byzantine scholars, students and teachers, artists, craftsmen and farmers, young people, adults and middle-aged men with their eyes focused on the Holy Mountain, their eyes focused inside them. For many of them Mount Athos is an awakening and a change of philosophy, a change in attitude of life, for others only a tour.

Greek literature has a long history and a relationship with Orthodox theology and tradition. The writers with their pen are receiving the light, the holiness, the search for human existence, such as Papadiamantis, Mouraitidis, Christopasis, Zacharias Papantoniou, Kazantzakis, Sikelianos, Kontoglou, Papatsonis, Vassilis Vasilikos, Spyros Melas, Theotokas, Paschos, Yannis Hadjifotis, Nestoras Matsas and Pentzikis, the most important writer of Mount Athos.

Ephraim Xeropotamou, the late Father, has said, “Mount Athos is like a rose, you will find in it branches with blossoms roses and thorns, you choose what you want to take.” As in life. The prerequisites for finding the “paradise” of the soul and the mind presuppose the conflict with temptations and tribulations, obstacles other than those encountered by a citizen of society. This strange mountain, the orchard of the Virgin is unique in the world. Inside it reigns a mystery that no man can disturb it, within it finds a man an interest for life.