The Mount Athos – Monastic Peninsula, A Relict in Time and Space
In September 2011 I have opportunity to spend three days at the Athos together with two friends. With backpacks on our shoulders, we walked from monastery to monastery, enjoying beautiful Mediterranean landscape. Together with Orthodox monks, who are living in monastic communities, we attended the mystic liturgy, midnight prayers and shared vegetarian meals.
The Athos is 335 km2 large peninsula, located in the Aegean Sea. It covers the entire, 50 km long and 12 km wide, east prong of Greek Khalkidhiki trident. Officially, it is called The Autonomous Monastic State of The Holy Mount Athos and it is a part of the territory of Greece. But on the basis of the ancient privileges it has the special status of self-governing and sovereign state. The Athos is led by the Holy Assembly in which are representatives of all 20 monasteries located in the monastic peninsula. In 2009, the Athos has a population of nearly 2,000 Orthodox monks. Religious, the Athos is under the direct administration of the Patriarch of Constantinople. A four-member Council of Administration, which is headed by a Primas, has the executive power over all monasteries and monks at the Athos. The governor, who represents civil (Greek) government, controls the operation of public services and care for the public order. The Athos is off limit for women, actually for every female mammals, and laymen can only visit it with special permission. Strict rules of the Athos permit attendance of only a hundred of Orthodox laymen worshipers at the same time and no more than ten non-believers (all non-Orthodox).
Z ladjo do prvih samostanov – Sveta gora Atos, 1. del (SL, 8.2012)
Pri menihih v samostanu Megistis Lavras – Sveta gora Atos, 2. del (SL, 9.2012)
Pot skozi Marijin vrt – Sveta gora Atos, 3. del (SL, 10.2012)
Po samostanih na zahodni obali – Sveta gora Atos, 4. del (SL, 11.2012)