Archive for the ‘Halkidiki’ Category

Mount Athos

Mount Athos (Greek: Όρος Άθως, Oros Athos) is a mountain on the peninsula of the same name in Macedonia, of northern Greece, called in Greek Agion Oros (Άγιον Όρος, transliterated often as Hagion Oros), or in English, "Holy Mountain". In Classical times, the peninsula was called Aktí (Ακτή) (sometimes Acte or Akte). Politically it is known in Greece as the Autonomous Monastic State of the Holy Mountain. This World Heritage Site is home to 20 Eastern Orthodox monasteries and forms a self-governed monastic state within the sovereignty of the Hellenic Republic. Spiritually, Mount Athos comes under the direct jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. The peninsula, the easternmost "leg" of the larger Halkidiki peninsula, protrudes into the Aegean Sea for some 60 kilometres (37 mi) at a width between 7 to 12 km and covers an area of 335.637 square kilometres (129.59 sq mi), with the actual Mount Athos and its steep, densely forested slopes reaching up to 2,033 metres (6,670 ft). The seas around the end of the peninsula can be dangerous. Though land-linked, it is accessible only by boat. The number of visitors is restricted and all are required to get a special entrance permit before entering Mount Athos. Only males are allowed entrance into Mount Athos, which is called "Garden of the Virgin" by monks, and Orthodox Christians take precedence in the permit issuance procedure. Only males over the age of 18 who are members of the Eastern Orthodox Church are allowed to live on Athos. There are religious guards, who are not monks, that assist the monks, and any other people not monks are required to live in the peninsula's capital, Karyes. The 2001 Greek national census counted a population of 2,262 inhabitants. Read the rest of this entry »