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Agio Oros (Holy Mountain)

The largest part of the Aghio Oros peninsula forms the province of Aghion Oros. The province is ruled by a religious council and the province is under the jurisdiction of the Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. In this manner it can be said that the province in itself forms a separate religious state embodied in the territorial jurisdiction of the Hellenic state. The capital of the province is the town of Karyes. The village of Dafni is the province's harbor, where all commercial and communication activities take place.
TPG Travelpage, Chalkidiki, Agio Oros monasteries
The traveler may tour the peninsula by means of a motorboat and men only may visit the 20 monasteries and the many ascetics of the province by land. In the area of the monasteries is totally and strictly forbidden for women to set foot on, and the province as a whole is a unique example of a living Byzantine community, a journey back in history and time.
Apart from the exquisite and unspoiled natural environment of the area, the archeological, spiritual, cultural and artistic significance of the area is immense, almost beyond any measure. The fine libraries, the collections of ceremonial accessories and other works of art and churches of unique architectural style, compose the image of a place that has justifiably been regarded as the ark of Hellenism and its legacy. The monasteries of Vatopediou, Agiou Pavlou, Gregoriou, Megistis Lavras and so many more, await the traveler for a homage to the ark of the Hellenic and Byzantine spirit though the centuries.

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