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Monastic dwellings (Athos)

The Monastic dwellings of the Holy Mountain, Mount Athos, include a variety of satellite living quarters for the monks in addition to the quarters in the central monastery complexes. These satellite quarters take various forms that depend upon the asceticism of individual monks as well as their living conditions: cenobitic or eremitic.

The dwellings for monks on Mount Athos outside the main buildings are classified into four types of dwelling, each with a different name. These are the kellion, kalyve, kathisma, and hesychasterion.

The kellion, also referred to as a cell, is a large building, of two or three floors, and contains a chapel. The kellions are spread out among the fields of the monasteries. Each may be occupied by three or more monks who engage themselves in farming and handcrafts.

The kalyve is a structure similar to the kellion, but is smaller, in which the monks live in family style arrangement and occupy themselves in handicrafts.

The Kathisma is a building smaller than the kalyve. These small buildings are the residence of solitaire monks and usually are situated near the monastery.

The Hesychasterion is the smallest and most primitive satellite living arrangement used by the monks of Mount Athos. These are occupied by hesychasteria retreat monks who seek the most harsh and austere asceticism. An hesychasterion may sometimes be a small hut, but more often it is only a cave.