Women are banned from the Greek Island of Mount Athos. Find out why
Mount Athos in Greece is a beautiful island, home to Russian Orthodox monks who have existed there for the past thousand years. As an island peninsula just 335 sq km wide, it is dominated by a religious presence visited frequently by pilgrims from around the world, there’s only one big hitch. Women are banned from Mt Athos.
This year, the Russian Orthodox monks will be celebrating their thousand year anniversary on Mount Athos. The occasion will be attended by none other than Russian President Vladimir Putin, however, no female will be allowed as women and female animals are banned from entering Mount Athos. Weird or practical? Find out why?
1 Rule Implemented By a 10th Century Charter
Women to be banned from entering Mount Athos existed as a rule for over a thousand years. This was due to a 10th century Charter, which passed the diktat. Although, the charter mentioned female animals, the ban was extended to women as the simplest and practical ways of implementing complete celibacy for the monks. It was also well-known that women were never allowed to enter monasteries run by men. Mount Athos is considered a huge monastery.
The entire peninsula is run by Russian monks belonging to the Russian Orthodox Church,whose Byzantine Period Monastery is spread over the entire island. No woman is allowed within 500meters of Mount Athos coastline. Should any women endeavour to do so, the penalty is a fine and a 12 year jail term.