In Macedonia dominates the monastic city of Agion Oros, the entrance in which is not permitted to women. It presents a huge offer in arts, letters, functional life and the Greek nation.
We could characterize it as a museum of the Byzantine and post Byzantine architectural hagiography etc, if it wasn’t a strong community with a dynamic presence in our days. It counts 1.500 monks; it is self-administered and belongs to the intellectual jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarch. Moreover, its 20 monasteries follow the coenobitic system of monastic life.
As we circumnavigate the mountain from Ouranoupolisi to Ierissos we find the monastery of Zografou, Konstamonitou, Docheiariou, Xenofondos, Saint Panteleimonas, Xiropotamou – Dafni harbor – Simonos Petras, Holy Gregoriou, Dionysiou, Saint Paul - New Skiti, Saint Anna, Small Saint Anna, Katounakia, Karoulia, Kafsokalivia – Great Lavra, Karakallou, Filotheou, Iveron, Koutloumousiou, Stavronikita, Pantokrator, Vatopediou, Esfigmenou and Hilandariou.
The capital, Karyes, where we can find the Holy Community and the Political Administration of Athos, is preened with beautiful monuments and buildings. The entire mountain is surrounded by beautiful nature, immense forests (chest nuts, hazels etc), fruit-bearing trees and dense green. Churches, chapels, towers, belfries, cells and other buildings compose entire states and are usually surrounded by Byzantine or post Byzantine walls. Balconies, portals etc give to the monasteries of Agion Oros a unique style.
We can understand what Agion Oros means for Orthodoxy and the Greek culture if we think of the marvelous temples, the chandeliers, the portable icons and the murals, the silver oil-lamps, the manuscripts and other codes (books), the old publications, the very simple documents of the Byzantine period and the Ottoman occupation, the Mosaics, the holy relics, the precious holy chalices, the historical heirlooms of the Byzantine Emperors, the vestments, epitaphs etc, along with the charters of centuries that are followed in worship, in the daily life etc.
In Macedonia, besides the monasteries in the region of Athos, very important monasteries are also: the one of Ikosifinissas in Pangeo with a catholic that was renovated and completely arranged by the current Bishop of Drama Dionysian Karts. Despite the pillage by enemies and the steal of many paintings, manuscripts, heirlooms, it has an appreciable museum, room of congresses, a veterinary surgeon unit etc. It is considered as Tinos of north Greece.
The monastery of Timiou Prodromou of Serres, which is a women's monastery is a very important Byzantine monument, where the Patriarch Gennadios Sholarios has been buried. Another modern monastery of Virgin Mary Vissianis near Serres, of Saint Paraskevi Domirou, previous property of Eikosifinissas, the one of Prodromou Akritoxoriou, a new women's monastery, of Saints Caribou and Ioulitis, of Analipseos Sotiros in Taxiarhes Dramas, of Saint Kiriaki Alistratis, of Analipseos Sotiros Protis Serron, a modern monastery and of Saint Trinity Toumpas (1881).
In Pieria: the monastery of Saint Dionysious on Olympos, a male monastery that was destroyed in 1943 by the Germans and a new one was built near Litohoro, the iconostasis of which was painted by F. Kontoglou), of Holy Efraim and of Saint Athanassios Kolindrou, modern women’s monasteries. In Kozani, the monastery of Saint Trinity of Bithou (1740) with murals by the religious painter Michael and a wood carved temple from the region of Pogoni. Near Siatista there are the monasteries of Kimiseos Mikrokastrou and Kimiseos Sisaniou with beautiful murals.
In the region of Kilkis there are the monasteries of Saint Georgios with a catholic of the 16th century, of Virgin Mary Goumenissas and Saint Rafael, Nikolaos and Irinis Grivas that was founded by the Bishop Dimitrios Bekiaris. In Kastoria we can find the monasteries of Saint Anargiron Melissotopou, of Virgin Mary Kleissoura and of Saint Nikolaos Tsirilovou (which are connected to the Macedonian revolution). In the region of Kavala: Metamorphosis Nikiton and Saint Sila. In Vermio: the new Monastery of Virgin Mary Soumela, a palladium for the inhabitants from Pontos, where they transported the miraculous icon from Pontos and other heirlooms.
The very appreciable monastery of Timios Prodromos in the river Aliakmonas with a catholic of the 14th century (near it we can find the cavern where Saint Gregorios Palamas lived), of Saint Athanassios Sfinitsis, of Virgin Mary Dovra, of T. Prodromou Naoussa and many others. In Samarina: the monastery of Saint Paraskevi with hagiographies of folklore art. In Zavorda, the monastery of Holy Nikanora that was founded in the 15th century. It looks like a castle and has important heirlooms; among its manuscripts, we can find the dictionary of Fotiou and post Byzantine murals of the 16th century and later.
In the region of Basilikon there is the monastery of Saint Ioannis the Theologian; its architecture is signed by the Professor N. Moutsopoulos and it is the place of burry of Elder Paisios, one of the most important personalities of Agion Oros. In Ormilia Chalkidiki unfolds the Monastery of Evagelismou that numbers 100 nuns and is under the intellectual monitoring of the Monastery Simonos Petras of Athos. It presents many and important activities (agricultural, artistic, editorial) and has engaged the form of an entire monastic state. Other monasteries of this region are the one dedicated to Saint Ioannis Prodromos, a women’s monastery in Metamorphosis and the monastery of Kimiseos in Polygiros for men. In Chalkidiki, during the 9th century, the Monastery of Saint Anastasia Farmakolitria was founded under the Patriarch's jurisdiction with appreciable heirlooms and the whole-body relic of Saint Theona and Saint Anastasia’s honest head. There functioned also an Ecclesiastical faculty. The current Abbot of Militos Apostolos performed a great work there.
In Thessalonica, in the old city, exists another Stavropigio of Vlatadon where functions the Institution of Holy Fathers Studies under the Patriarch’s supervision (the Monastery was founded in the 11th century and depends, as the previous one, on Fanari). Some other monasteries of Thessalonica are: the male monastery of Saint Theodora that was recently renovated and acquired a sacristy, while it was painted due to the care of the Metropolitan bishop of Thessalonica Panteleimonas Hrysofaki and the continuous interest of the Abbot Ioannis Tasia, the women's monastery of Zoodochou Pigis in Panorama, of Metamorphosis in Hortiati and other monasteries with respectful monastic fraternities.