COLLECTIONS: The Holy Mountain
The semiautonomous peninsula of Mount Athos in northeastern Greece is the spiritual center of the Eastern Orthodox Church. The 20 monasteries and hundreds of houses that dot the rugged landscape are home to 2,000 monks who have removed themselves from society in search of a closer connection with God. They wear black as a symbol of their death to the outside world, and women have been barred from crossing the border for more than 1,000 years. The monks strive to live simple lives as they fend off encroaching modernity.
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