Mount Athos in Greece

Tuesday, 6 November 2012 - 01:23 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, UNESCO World Heritage
Reading Time:  3 minutes

Mount Athos © flickr.com - Gabriel

Mount Athos © flickr.com – Gabriel

Mount Athos is a mountain and peninsula in the Macedonia region, Greece. A World Heritage Site and self-governed state in the Hellenic Republic, Athos is home to 20 stavropegial Eastern Orthodox monasteries under the direct jurisdiction of the patriarch of Constantinople. Today Greeks commonly refer to Mount Athos as the “Holy Mountain” (Greek: Άγιον Όρος, Agion Oros). In Classical times, while the mountain was called Athos, the peninsula was called Akté (Ἀκτὴ) (sometimes Acte or Akte).

The peninsula, the easternmost “leg” of the larger Halkidiki peninsula, protrudes 50 kilometres (31 mi) into the Aegean Sea at a width of between 7 and 12 kilometres (4.3 and 7.5 mi) and covers an area of 335.6 square kilometres (129.58 sq mi). The actual Mount Athos has steep, densely forested slopes reaching up to 2,033 metres (6,670 ft). The surrounding seas, especially at the end of the peninsula, can be dangerous.

Entry to the mountain is usually by ferry boat either from the port of Ouranoupoli (for west coast monasteries) or from Ierrisos for those on the east coast. Before embarking on the boat all visitors must have been issued a diamonētērion, a form of Byzantine visa that is written in Greek, dated using the Julian calendar, and signed by four of the secretaries of leading monasteries.

Agiou Panteleimonos Monastery © flickr.com - Gabriel Border between Greece and The Holy Mountain © flickr.com - Gabriel Zograf Monastery © Georgid Xenophontos Monastery © Rudolf Bauer © Witold Rawicz Stavronikita Monastery © Thodoris Lakiotis Simonopetra Monastery © Michalis Famelis Dafni © Anton Lefterov Mount Athos © flickr.com - Gabriel
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Border between Greece and The Holy Mountain © flickr.com - Gabriel
Most visitors arrive at the small port of Dafni from where they can take the only paved road in the mountain to the capital Karyes or continue via another smaller boat to other monasteries down the coast. There is a public bus between Dafni and Karyes. Expensive taxis operated by monks are available for hire at Dafni and Karyes.

There is a prohibition on entry for women, called avaton (Άβατον) in Greek, to make living in celibacy easier for those who have chosen to do so. Monks feel that the presence of women alters the social dynamics of the community and therefore slows their path towards spiritual enlightenment.

Read more on unesco.org – Mount Athos, Mount Athos – Pilgrims Information, Wikivoyage Mount Athos, Wikitravel Mount Athos and Wikipedia Mount Athos. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organizations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Johns Hopkins University & Medicine - Coronavirus Resource Center - Global Passport Power Rank - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.






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