The Skete of Sketae - General Information


The sketae appeared in the nineteenth century. They were founded on the basis of contracts signed by the representatives of the monasteries and ratified by the Oecumenical Patriarchate, on land owned by the monasteries. Today there are twelve sketae all over the Athos Peninsula. The sketae, like the monasteries, are divided into coenobitic and idiorrhythmic. Their inhabitants are occupied in farming and handicraft making. Life in sketae is harsh since monks depend more on their own work and production.

The coenobitic sketae closely resemble the monasteries, being surrounded by cells, with a large church in the center. They are administered by a hegumen, who is called the dikaios, and representatives are appointed annually to perform executive functions.

The idiorrhythmic sketae are like little villages. The cells here are called kalyvae (’huts’) and are essentially tiny houses with one or two rooms, a chapel, and adjacent structures. The common church, the Kyriakon, stands in the middle of the ’village’, and is used on Sundays and feast days. The idiorrhythmic sketae are administered by a dikaios, who is elected by the older monks (gerontes or elders) and assisted by four of these.

All sketae are owned by monasteries. The associations between sketae and monasteries are shown in the following table:

Name of Skete

Owner Monastery

Skete of Saint John the Baptist (Romanian)

Great Lavra

Skete of Kavsokalyvia

Great Lavra

Major Skete of Saint Anne

Great Lavra

Minor Skete of Saint Anne

Great Lavra

Skete of Saint Demetrios (Greek)


Skete of Saint Andrew or the Serrai


Skete of Saint John the Baptist (Greek)


Skete of Saint Panteleimon


Skete of Prophet Elijah


Skete of Saint Demetrios or Lakkoskete (Romanian)

Saint Paul

New Skete

Saint Paul

Skete of Annunciation of the Mother of God


Skete Bogoroditsa

Saint Panteleimon

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