Holy Monasteries of Athos
The administration of Athos Mount throughout its historical course, that is since when the monastic life was officially organized in this, with the edition of the “Ritual” of the Byzantine Emperor Tsimiskis Ioannis in 972 until today, it continues to be governed by a peculiar political and ecclesiastical regime.
This is shown by the imperial golden bulls (decrees) and the “Rituals”, the patriarchal sigillia (documents), the Sultan's documents, the "General Regulations" of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the subsequent legislation.
The settlement of Karyes is the capital of Athos since the 10th century. Here is the seat of the Holy Community of Athos Mount and the Holy Supervision, as well as the delegations of twenty monasteries.
In Karyes is the political governor while there are and various services such as police department, Post Office, Community Medical Center and OTE. Also, in the area of Karyes, is the headquarter of the ecclesiastical school of Athoniada.
HOLY MONASTERIES OF ATHOS
The most important building of Karyes is the oldest temple of the Holy Mountain, the temple of Protatos, so named because it is the seat of Protepistatis (first) and is dedicated to Assumption of Virgin Mary. It is a basilica without a dome with subsequent addition of a transept.
The building received several interventions for its maintenance until its last renovation. Personalities such as magister Leontas (Nikiforos Fokas’ brother) and John Iviras offered many and adorned Protato with relics.
The temple of Protato, after the fire of 1290, was painted by the master builder of the Macedonian School, Manuel Panselinos in the early 14th century, with frescoes that are arranged in four successive zones. The upper and the lower zone depict coverall figures of forefathers, prophets and military saints. In both interim and wider zones depicted evangelical scenes and scenes from the life of Mary. Among these scenes, Evangelists are inserted.
Painted images of the enthroned Virgin and Christ adorn the two major shrines in front of the sanctuary. In the sanctuary are depicted mainly saints of Athos.
Known treasures of Orthodoxy that adorn Protato are the image of Virgin "Axion Estin" and of Christ "Antifonitis".
The rich library of the Holy Community includes 117 manuscripts, 47 of which are parchments and a large number of printed books.
In the archive of Protato is stored the first Rite of Holy Mountain, the so called "Goat" (972), with which the communal system on Athos Mount is officially entered, which preserves the original signature of the emperor Ioannis Tsimiskis.
Apart from the temple of Protato, in Karyes is the cell of Ravdouchos with frescoes of the 12th century, as well as the post-Byzantine cell of Dionysius from Fournas. Known is also the Skete of St. Andrew, where its magnificent temple is located, the largest in the Balkans during the 19th century.
The market and the workshops
Important place in the lives of Karyes’ people is the market and its laboratories. Market of Karyes was once called "the Paris of Halkidiki" with great traffic from the 10th century. The traffic several times upset the holy place and the issue to resolve it required the intervention of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. During the Turkish occupation there were evidences for the trade of many goods. The 19th century could be characterized as the dominant era of development and existence of many shops and of marketing areas of many goods by both monks and laymen. Over the years, the traditional outdoor weekly market and the annual feast of Assumption frayed and gone.
Daphne is the western seaport of Athos Mount. It is the point where pilgrims will be directed if they want to visit the monasteries of Western, Central and South side.
Until 1044 there was the Monastery of Docheiariou, which was devastated by pirate raids, so it was transferred to its present location.
There are a few rent rooms, Police Station, Customs, Harbor Station, Post office and some stores to supply staples, books, images, wine and honey.
During the 19th century there was significant traffic of ships from Russia, when the most buildings were built.
The largest area of the region belongs to the Monastery of Xiropotamos.
For your stay in Halkidiki, you can book a room in one of the hotels and Bed & Breakfast inns.
In Halkidiki close to Mount Athos, there are hotels and accommodations of various categories and types (rooms to let, residences, Bed & Breakfast inns, studios, hostels, guesthouses and furnished apartments) that can satisfy every visitor's demands and needs for a pleasant and enjoyable stay.
You will find wonderful hotels, rooms and apartments to let of all categories and price ranges.
You can access Halkidiki by car through the road network.
The best way to explore the area is to have your own car and is worth to visit places that are not accesible by the local public transport and tours.
Moving around within Halkidiki is made possible by using the bus from Halkidiki, with regular routes between areas.
The airline connection of Halkidiki is via the "Macedonia" airport.
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For your convenience, you can use the route map on the field “Διαδρομές” with information about the mileage, the time you need and the route you will follow, selecting the points of interest.