For the past thousand years or so, a community of Eastern Orthodox monks has dwelled here, purposefully removed from everything except God.
They are men—exclusively. According to custom, women have been forbidden to visit Mount Athos since its earliest days.
Russian President Vladimir Putin visited the monasteries at Mount Athos last May to join celebrations at the monastery of St Panteleimon to mark 1,000 years of monks there.
He was accompanied by Patriarch Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church.