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Dormition Skete is located in the heart of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, now on 27 acres of beautiful mountain property, at 9,000 feet, in the more than 1 million acre San Isabel National Forest, Buena Vista, Chaffee County. The Skete is heated by solar energy, is designed specifically for icon painting, and can house 6 monks. There are three churches: the Kyriakon named in honor of the Holy Dormition of the
Mother of God, and two chapels, one in honor of the Exaltation of the Holy and Life-Giving Cross, and the other dedicated to Saint George, the Great-Martyr. The Kyriakon is designed according to the traditional Athonite architecture established by Saint Athanasios of Mt. Athos, and is a little larger than the Katholicon of the monastery of Stavronikita on the Holy Mountain of Athos. Most of the work of construction was done by the monks of the Skete.
In the Orthodox monastic tradition there are three types of ascetic life. The first is a large community consisting of many monks. This type of establishment is generally called a monastery and, if large enough, may be called a lavra. The second type is called a skete. A skete is a small monastic community, which consists of a few monks, and they usually live in more isolated areas and have a more austere life. They live outside the bustle of the world, in the wilderness, and are under the shepherding eye of the abbot. The third is the retirement of a hermit who lives in solitude, seeking the Lord with the greatest of zeal.