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Mount Athos
Site number:
Type of site: Mixed
Date: 1054
Date of Inscription: 1988
Location: Europe, Greece, Autonomous region of Mount Atho
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Description: Mount Athos, which has been an Orthodox spiritual centre since 1054, has held an autonomous statute since Byzantine times. The site’s 'Holy Mountain', from which women and children are banned, is also a recognized artistic site. About 20 of the encompassed monasteries are presently inhabited by some 1,400 monks. The layout of these monasteries played an important influential role as far afield as Russia, and the site’s school of painting influenced the history of Orthodox art. --WHMNet paraphrase from the description at WHC Site, where additional information is available.
  Mount Athos (Greek: Όρος Άθως) is a mountain on the peninsula of the same name in Macedonia, northern Greece, called in Greek Άγιον Όρος (Ayion Oros or Agion Oros, transliterated often as Hagion Oros), or in English, "Holy Mountain." In Classical times, the peninsula was called Ακτή (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 Chalcidice peninsula, protrudes into the Aegean Sea for some 60 km at a width between 7 to 12 km and covers an area of 335.637 km² (129.59 sq mi), with the actual Mount Athos and its steep, densely forested slopes reaching up to 2,033 m. 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 on the peninsula's capital, Karyes. The 2001 Greek national census counted a population of 2,262 inhabitants. --Wikipedia. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.
Reference: 1. UNESCO World Heritage Center, Site Page.
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