Mount Athos is a unique monastic community. It comprises of 20 majestic monasteries. Apart from the monasteries, there are also 12 hermitages, monk communities which constitute a settlement made of huts and cells, ceded by the holy monasteries to small groups of monks. The huts are actually buildings smaller than the cells with an integrated church, but the monks don’t possess any land property. The hermitages are an extension of the building. They are located at places hard to access. The capital of the Agio Oros is Karyes. Here you will find the Church of Protato (10th century) with the renowned icon “Axion Esti” («It is worthy to bless Thee, the Virgin»), as well as the frescos of Panselinos. Only men are allowed at Mount Athos. As for foreign visitors, they have to obtain a special permission.