Åke Ericson – ATHOS – A world without women

In the male kingdom of Athos, 1400 monks live medieval lives. A certain influx from outside keeps the population alive. The only female element belongs to the animal and plant kingdom. No women and children are even allowed to visit the ”holy mountain”.

The ”Pytteriket” consists of a rock that juts out from Greek Chalkidi in the Aegean Sea. The strip of land is only 50 km long and one mile wide but over 2000 meters at the highest point.

In Athos, medieval architecture and priceless religious works of art are well preserved, but at least as interesting are the monks’ crafts and agriculture, which are still practiced using medieval methods.

The ”holy mountain” has the status of independent territory. This has been the case since the autonomy of Byzantium and Athos is now recognized by the EU.
The 20 monasteries on Athos have been the spiritual center of Orthodox Christianity since the 11th century. The power of the monks extends far even today as far as Russia. These ”medieval men” are inaccessible but at the same time highly present in both religious life and political events far beyond the monastery walls.

One framed picture 164×114 cm
Four 73 x 103 cm.
Five 40x 50 cm

This series have been exhibited at:
Galleri Visholmen, Strängnäs, Sweden
Black Door Gallery, Örebro, Sweden