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Karyes (Athos)

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The town of '''Karyes''' is the administrative center for the monastic republic of [[Mount Athos]]. The town is located in the middle of the peninsula at an elevation of a little over 1,000 feet (370 meters). The town is the seat of the governing body of Mount Athos and of the ‘’protos’’ ''protos'' (primate) of the monastic community.
==Holy Community==
The town is located in a forest of walnut and hazel trees adjacent to the [[Koutloumousiou Monastery (Athos)|Koutloumousiou Monastery]] in the middle of the Athos peninsula. Traditionally, Karyes is said to have been established originally by [[Constantine the Great]], was and later destroyed by [[Julian the Apostate]]. When Karyes was founded in the tenth century the settlement consisted mainly of smaller, older monasteries and buildings that were residences for the representatives of the distant monasteries.
The population of the town includes, in addition the to the monks, various laymen, all male, who trade in forest products and [[ecclesiastical objects]]. In 1981, the population was 235. There are numerous building in the town. These are mainly owned by the twenty monasteries. These buildings are generally small and have two stories. The Skete of St. Andrew which was founded with the help of the Russian Czars is near by the town.
The most prominent building in the town is the Church of Protaton. The church was built in the early part of the tenth century and is dedicated to the Dormition of the Virgin. The church is used for daily services and official ceremonies of the Holy Community. The church is a [[basilica]] with three aisles and two [[narthex]]es, although the north narthex is a simple portico. The church was repaired late in the thirteenth century during the reign of emperor Andronik II Palaeologus. A tall rectangular bell-tower was built near the north-east corner of the church in 1534-5 under the direction of Protos Serifim.
A few years into the fourteenth century Manuel Panselinos, of the Macedonian school, painted frescos on the interior of the church. His arrangement was divided into four zones. The lowest zones consists of full length rendering of [[saint]]s of the Church. Next The next zone above is a composition of the Dormition of the Virgin. The third zone consists of scenes from the [[New Testament]]. The highest zone presents figures of the [[prophet]]s and ancestors of [[Christ]].
In mid twentieth century the church was restored again, including replacement of the wooden roof with one made of cement and Byzantine styled tiles.

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