An Orthodox spiritual center since 1054, Mount Athos has enjoyed an autonomous statute since Byzantine times.
Mount Athos – The Holy Mountain
The ‘Holy Mountain‘, which is forbidden to women and children, is also a recognized artistic site. The layout of the monasteries (about 20 of which are presently inhabited by some 1,400 monks) had an influence as far afield as Russia, and its school of painting influenced the history of Orthodox art.
Cloaked by beautiful chestnut and other types of Mediterranean forest, the steep slopes of Mount Athos are punctuated by twenty imposing monasteries and their subsidiary establishments.
Covering an area of just over 33,000 hectares, the property includes the entire narrow rocky strip of the easternmost of the three peninsulas of Halkidiki which jut into the Aegean Sea in northern Greece. The subsidiary establishments include skites, kellia and kathismata (living units operated by the monks), where farming constitutes an important part of the monks’ everyday life.
UNESCO World Heritage (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/454)