Sunday, 20 August 2017

Greek Women Enter All-Male Mount Athos in Protest Over Land

Balkan Travellers   
10 January | Around a dozen Greek women entered the Mount Athos male-only monastic community on Tuesday in protest over land ownership, thus defying a 1,000-year ban, international media reported.

The female protesters jumped over the fence in defiance of the ban, which is upheld by the Greek constitution. The group was reportedly part of around 1,000 demonstrators who oppose claims by several of the monasteries to around 20,000 acres of land on the Halkidiki peninsula, Reuters reported.

Local mayors and residents of different Halkidiki villages dispute the monasteries’ large real estate portfolio outside the Mount Athos borders, which includes hotels and land on Halkidiki and other assets in the Greek capital Athens and in Thessaloniki.

The Halkidiki peninsula is among the most popular tourist destinations in Greece. A part of Greece’s northern mainland, on the Aegean Sea, the peninsula consists of three separate parts – the western one, Kassandra, Sithonia in the middle and Agion Oros.

The easternmost Agion Oros, meaning ‘Holy Mountain’, is regarded as the spiritual home of Eastern Orthodox Christianity. The 20 monasteries scattered around Mount Athos, including a Russian, Serbian and Bulgarian monastery, form a self-governing monastic community with strict visitation rules, including a complete ban on female visitors.

Media reported that this was not the first time the ban on female visitors was violated, though it seems like it was never done so blatantly. Women tourists and archaeologists, sometimes dressed as men, have set foot on the peninsula in the past decades, according to Reuters.

Litsa Ammanatidou-Paschalidou, a Member of Parliament, was among the defiant women who trespassed. She told media that the Athos land claims were based on titles dating back to the Middle Ages and Ottoman rule and that land disputes are common since Greece does not have a complete national land register.




Mount Athos Area KOUZINA 2014

The most famous Greek culinary event!
With the signature of the famous Greek chef Dina Nikolaou

Mount Athos Area Kouzina is a month long annual food festival which takes place from the 15th of May till the 15th of June, attracting foodies from all over the world.
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Curiosity Chest

Greece and Albania: In the Kingdom of Ali Pasha

While travelling through the Balkans, Morelle Smith gets to know the infamous Ali Pasha, the “Lion of Ioannina.” First through the eyes of nineteenth-century writer Dora d'Istria and then through the impressive architectural heritage he left in Albania and Northern Greece. And she falls for his charms. And how could she not, knowing how fiercely Ali Pasha treated the women who turned him down? Full Story

Useful Reads

In Sfakia: Passing Time in the Wilds of Crete (2008) | By Peter Trudgill

Crete has long been acknowledged as one of the most singular and unique parts of Greece. Its people keep a fierce hold on their traditions, customs and history. Practically a country of its own, this vast island looms over all others in Greece. Nevertheless, as In Sfakia author Peter Trudgill aptly notes in his preface, “some parts of Crete are more special than others, and Sfakia, on the remote south coast, is certainly one of those.” Full Story


Unbearable Nostalgia, After Theo Angelopoulos

Eleni Karaindrou | Elegy of the Uprooting |Crammed/Dyukyan Meloman, 2006
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