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Mount Athos: Chilandar Monastery: Overall view, looking from the St. George Tower
Architecture Library, Hesburgh Libraries
Mount Athos is a mountain forming the eastern end of the Acte peninsula; it has been occupied by Greek monastic communities of St. Basil since the 9th century CE. It is noted as the "Holy Mountain" of the Greek church. From afar, most Athonite monasteries, with their defensive towers, look like medieval fortresses; a footway on top of walls behind battlements and machicolations can still be seen at the Great Lavra, Chilandar and Xenophontos. The zenith of Athonite prosperity was reached in the 10th to the 12th centuries; as many as 180 monasteries were founded. Chilandar (Χιλανδαρίου, Chilandariou; Хиландар; Hilandar) was founded by Serbian monks led by Saint Savva (1174 -1236).