The Monastery of Koutloumousiou is one of twenty monasteries on the Mount Athos peninsula and is located on the northeastern side of the peninsula, near Karyes. It is sixth in hierarchical rank among the monasteries.
While the existence of the monastery is confirmed by document from 1169, Koutloumousiou Monastery was founded in its present form in the 14th century. Its central church was built in 1540. It is considered to be one of the most magnificent of all the monasteries of Mount Athos.
The central church was built in 1540, but there are many chapels associated with the monastery. The most impressive of these is the chapel of the Protection of the Mother of God, built in 1733, which is at the left of the eso-narthex of the central church and contains a wonderworking icon of the Mother of God holding Christ as a child. Other chapels include St. Natalia, Ss. Kosmas and Damian, All Saints, St. John the Baptist, the Archangels and St. Spyridon.References:
The city walls of Avila were built in the 11th century to protect the citizens from the Moors. They have been well maintained throughout the centuries and are now a major tourist attraction as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors can walk around about half of the length of the walls.
The layout of the city is an even quadrilateral with a perimeter of 2,516 m. Its walls, which consist in part of stones already used in earlier constructions, have an average thickness of 3 m. Access to the city is afforded by nine gates of different periods; twin 20 m high towers, linked by a semi-circular arch, flank the oldest ones, Puerta de San Vicente and Puerta del Alcázar.