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Architecture 


Architecture

The architecture of all the abbeys has the classic Byzantine monastic figure. They are all heavenly-built and have a fortress provision, because they permanently constituted a target of pirates and conquerors. The buildings are like fortresses on their base with cells - aeries .On the top there are multistoried buildings most of which are in secure places, strengthened with walls and towers. In the middle of the group of buildings there is a courtyard with the 'catholic' of the abbey, the 'table', the 'bottle' and chapels. The history of their construction is not completely known and is often confused with traditions and legends.
The towers are powerful, tall, and are imposingly erected like gigantic guards and sentinels above the other buildings of the abbeys. Beside them the belltowers, the domes of the temples and the cypresses fight to raise to their top bastions.
The catholics, which are the central temples of the abbeys, almost all have the same Saint Mountain's style. They are four-columned temples with a big central dome and other smaller ones around, three conchas, with a double narthex, the inner narthex and the outer narthex and chapels. In the dome the Almighty is depicted. The temples are wood-carved or marble, of which many are of prime art, the columns are marble with beautiful pates, their wall paintings are unique, and marvellous iconostases, shrines, chandeliers, cressets, marble inlays, antechoirs, portable icons, e.t.c. adorn their interior.
Near the entry of the catholic, in the courtyard of the abbey, is the 'bottle'. It is marble, circular or polygonal, with elegant pillars and a dome. In the centre is the squirt. There the sanctification takes place.
Opposite the entry of the temple is built the 'table' of the abbey, the restaurant of the monks. Internally it is a spacious room with many marble or wooden tables in series. Essential is the pulpit, where during food the reader reads about the lives of the saints and other scriptures. Marvellous wall paintings adorn the walls of many 'tables'.
Near the bank are found the kitchen, the furnace, the warehouses.
Round the courtyard are raised the buildings with the cells of the monks. Many of them are masterpieces of the traditional Macedonian and Byzantine art. The hostel is a characteristic, very attended place in every abbey.
Essential in every abbey is the 'arsanas', the harbour. It is connected with the abbey with a graphic, but often very tiring path.

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Architecture




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