Travelblog Holy Mount Athos - 1000 years like one day

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Mount Athos, "Holy Mountain" (Hagion Oros) is called the easternmost of the three-finger Halkidiki in northern Greece. The peninsula is about 60 km long and 8 to 12 km wide.
At its southern end the naked, steep marble pyramid of Mount Athos rises 2033 m out of the deep blue sea.
According to legend, the sea god Poseidon hurled in a battle of the giants huge boulders against a Thracian Cyclops and buried him under the rock.

The southern part of the Holy Mount Athos

Twenty still inhabited big monasteries exist today on the Holy Mount Athos. In terms of the hierarchical importance are these:
  • Monastery Megisti Lavra (oldest Monastery on the Holy Mount Athos)
  • Monastery Vatopedi
  • Monastery Iviron
  • Monastery Chelandar
  • Monastery Dionysiou
  • Monastery Koutloumousiou
  • Monastery Pantokratoros
  • Monastery Xeropotamou
  • Monastery Zographou
  • Monastery Dochiariou
  • Monastery Karakalou
  • Monastery Philotheou
  • Monastery Simonos Petra
  • Monastery Agiou Pavlou
  • Monastery Stavronikita
  • Monastery Xenophontos
  • Monastery Grigoriou
  • Monastery Esphigmenou
  • Monastery Agiou Panteleimonos
  • Monastery Konstamonitou
The monks in the monasteries are responsible for the legislative and executive powers. Only for the general safety and order a state governor is in charge, reporting to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Athens and representing the Greek State. According to law, the Greek state is responsible for the independence and inviolability of the Holy Mountain Athos.

The 20 major monasteries include all other monastic settlements like
  • Skites (monk villages)
  • Kalyves (monk huts, smaller buildings)
  • Kellia (monk cells),
that exist on the Holy Mountain and only the capital Karyes where the authority of the monastic republic is established, retained its independence.

Depending on the type of monastic life, the monasteries are divided into two categories:
  • kinowitic monasteries
  • idiorrhythmic monasteries.
The difference between the two forms of life is that in the kinowitischen monasteries all monks have everything in common, namely flat, work, food and prayer, while in the idiorrhythmischen monasteries indeed flat and prayer also common for all, but labor and food are regulated by the monks individually.

Most monasteries have a small harbor, called arsanas the sea.

For entry the monk republic strictly necessary is the Athos-visa: DIAMONITERION

Valid Diamoniterion with stamps Call to the pilgrims office of Holy Mountain in Thessaloniki:
(for reservation of an entry date)

Pilgrims Office of the Holy municipality of the Athos
Mr. Stefanos Kanelis (speaks English)
Egnatia Odos 109
GR-54635 Thessaloniki
Tel: 0030-2310-25 25 78, Fax: 0030-2310-22 24 24
open from Monday to Friday 9.00 - 14.00 o'clock, Saturday 10.00 - 13.00 o'clock

Information sheet about the visit of the Holy Mountain Athos as pdf

Personal introducing in the above mentioned office in Thessaloniki and picking up
a letter of recommendation for entry to Mount Athos

Drive to Ouranoupolis by public bus or car

Tausch des Empfehlungsschreibens aus Thessaloniki gegen das gewünschte
in dem Agion Oros Büro am Ortseingang von Ouranoupolis,

(service charge circa 35.- Euro)

Departure of the ship to Daphni (port of Karyes) daily at about 9.30 o'clock

Icon painting

At the painter monks (e.g. in Katounakia or in the Skite Ag.Anna) it is possible to give an iconic painting in order.
An iconic painting is a valuable reminder of the lived days with the monks on the Holy Mountain Athos.
On a wooden plank fine gold flakes are rolled out first. The iconic painting is then painted on the gold layer.

made4you let paint this beautiful iconic painting of the Virgin Mary holding Jesus child from the Orthodox monk Theoliptos Monaxos from the Skite Ag.Anna.
In any case, it is useful to look at already finished sample iconic paintings to convince yourself of the quality of the work.
golden iconic painting of the Virgin Mary with Jesus child
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