The Kastamonitou Monastery, officially called Konstamonitou, is an Orthodox Christian monastery in the monastic state of Mount Athos in Greece. It stands on the southeastern side of the Athos peninsula. The monastery ranks twentieth and last in the hierarchy of the Athonite monasteries.
The monastery was founded in the mid-11th century, either by an unknown member of the aristocratic Byzantine Kastamonites family, or by an unrelated person hailing from the area of Kastamon in Paphlagonia. It is dedicated to Saint Stephen. Its history during the Byzantine period is obscure, and until the 14th century it appears to have been a moderate establishment. After it was destroyed in a fire in the 1420s and restored by the Serbian magnate Radič, it attracted many monks from the South Slavic lands, and experienced a century of prosperity.
The monastery's present buildings date to the 18th and 19th centuries. The monastery has about 20 working monks. The monastery library holds 110 manuscripts and approximately 5,000 printed books.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.