Figures and Issues

 1. Skete of Prophet Elijah
2. Folklore Collection

2. Folklore Collection

Below the magnificent buildings of our Coenobitic Skete, i.e. in its underground vaults, which remind one of ancient Christian catacombs and literally amaze the visitor, we decided to house our rich Folklore Collection, which is distinguished for the wide range and rarity of its exhibits.

The collection has its very own language with which it proudly presents the history of our Holy Institution. It contains the tools and objects used by the monks in the daily life and ‘diakonimata’ (administration), from 1757 until 1992, when our Brotherhood moved into the Skete.

The Collection’s exhibits were gathered from all over the Skete, found among the rubble and debris. Much effort went into their collection. After the underground areas were repaired and decorated accordingly, we restored the artifacts and placed them in various sub-collections, many in show cases, others on tables or benches, so that the visitor could be informed both in a general and in a detailed way about the life and history of our Holy Coenobium.

If one takes into consideration that the monastic Brotherhood of our Skete at its peak in the early 19th century numbered 450 Fathers, employed many lay workers and also hosted a great number of Pilgrims, we can begin to understand the extent and range of the Collection’s exhibits. It should be noted that many of the useful objects were lost, given away or sold, especially during the difficult years of its decline, i.e. after 1917.

The areas from which the exhibits come are the Hospital, the Pharmacy, the Carpenter’s shop, the Smithy, the Olive-Press, the Shoemaker’s shop, the Printing-Press, the Icon-Painting studio, the Tailor’s shop (where vestments and clothing used by priests and monks were made), the Kitchen, the Refectory, the Bakery, the Wine and Oil presses, the Stables, the Arsanas (Harbor), the Lay Worker’s Houses, the Cottages, the Warehouses and the Monks’ Cells. Each of these areas made its own contribution to the Skete’s operation and employed its own means and tools, in order to serve effectively its purpose.