The cell is a spacious dwelling, with two or three floors, something like a farmhouse with a small chapel. Each cell is built into the fields of the monasteries and it held by three or more monks. These monks are occupied in farming and handicraft activities.

The kalyve is a dwelling like the kellion, only smaller. The monks live there as a family and they occupy themselves in handicrafts. Kalyvae named Kapsala are found near Karyes (55 kalyves), Little St Anne (6 kalyves), Katoynakia (15 kalyves), St Basil (12 kalyves) and Karoylia (12 kalyves).

A kathisma is even smaller than the Kalyve, and is built close to the monastery. It is held by one monk.

To the hesychasteria retreat monks who seek the most harsh and austere ascetitsm. An hesychasterion is sometimes a small hut, but more often it is only a cave. Karoulia and Katounakia are such hesychasteria.


Karoulia is located at the southernmost shore of Mount Athos on a rocky and very steep site. The hermit monks have built their huts inside caves, holes and rock protrusions. The name "karoulia" (pulleys) derives from the fact that in the old days supplies were delivered to the monks with pulleys.

The ten monks are principally occupied with prayer. They have diminished their corporal needs to the absolute minimum. They drink rain–water which they collect and eat just enough to stay alive; they support themselves by weaving baskets and making rosaries, which they sell or exchange for food in Daphne.


Not far, and at higher altitude from Karoulia, one finds the Katounakia hesychasterion. The scenery here is calmer compared to that of Karoulia. The 35 monks residing here are occupied with hagiography and wood carving.

Katounakia are world renowned thanks to the existence here of the Danieline house of hagiography, founded by the monk Daniel when he came here to practice asceticism.

There are also hesychasteria at Bigla, Kerasia, Bouleuteria and Agios Bassilios, all in remote and difficult to reach locations at the higher altitudes of Athos.

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