The Karoulia of Mount Athos

The main area of the hermits is Karoulia, a barren, rocky and steep place, where there are hermit caves and ascetic huts. The name is due to a pulley (spool) from which the ascetics hang a basket for passing fishermen to put some bread and whatever else they have in it, after being rewarded with the handiwork that the hermits place in the basket.

The slope of the ground is 90-95% and on it the monks have built 12 small huts. Some are accessed by chains or wooden stairs, while others, which are more like caves than huts, are accessed by invisible paths carved into the steep rocks. To collect grass or water, the hermits have to climb with difficulty up the cliffs. They feed mainly on nuts, grasses, prickly pears and dry food. They sleep very little, study a lot and pray constantly. Their speech is rare. Their face has a special glow. They listen attentively to human suffering and show condescension to it.