Photogallery: Views of Old Athos
The Institute of History of Material Culture of the Russian Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg stores photos with views of Athos monasteries and hermitages; these photos once belonged to Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich Romanov. It was presented to the Grand Duke by the Russian St.Panteleimon Monastery on Mount Athos, during his visit to the Holy Mountain monasteries in 1881.
Pictures in the album are dated 1867-1872. This first chronicle of Mount Athos not only has documentary value, but is a remarkable example of photographic art.
The names of photographers are known: they were monks from St. Panteleimon Monastery, Fr. Leonty and Fr. Gennady.
None of the existing Mount Athos monasteries has survived intact [unchanged]; in the second half of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries many buildings were rebuilt. However, when the photos in the Grand Duke Konstantin's album were made, reconstruction was just beginning. Therefore these unique photographs give a picture of Mount Athos and the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in general -- without great cathedrals and other major buildings.
[The translation of the Russian text is below. Click on photos at the link below to see photographs.]