The Skete of Saint Andrew


General View of Skete

Very close to Karyes, on the road that connects Karyes with Daphne, one finds the Russian Skete of Saint Andrew, which belongs to the Monastery of Vatopedi. It is a huge building complex that follows the architectural paradigm of the Athonian monasteries, i.e. it is surrounded by tall buildings overlooking an internal court. In the center of the court stands the main church.

It is called a skete because according to the customs and the statute of Mount Athos it is not possible to found new monasteries, besides the one of the Byzantine era. It was built with the financial sponsorship of the Russian Czars and many Russian monks practiced ascetic life here. Indeed, just before World War I, the skete was inhabited by approximately 700 monks. Nowadays five Greek monks reside here and have taken upon them to revive the skete and deal with the preservation of the icons and the maintenance of the premises.

The central church of the skete is dedicated to Saint Andrew. It was built in 1867 according to the athonian monasteries’ style. It is the largest church on Athos rising to 30 m in height and extending to 60 in length. Golden crosses extend from its cupolas. In the interior of the church the relics of Saint Andrew are kept.

One can also find in the skete the Athonias Academy, a secondary school for aspiring monks.

A chapel

Main church under serious reconstruction

The main church (interior view)

Outside view

Athonias school

Admiring the restoration work

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