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Retreats, or hermitages, comprise a transgression of a building. They are edifices constructed by hermit anchorites to cater for their, deemed by themselves minimal, needs. They are usually erected in hard, sometimes impossible, to reach places with the blessing of the cardinal monastery and the anchorite’s spiritual mentor. All forms of monkhood present on Mt. Athos and cited above have developed over a course spanning more than one thousand years. This tradition has imprinted itself, in apparently different manners should we judge it superficially, in their characteristics relating to the buildings or their organization. These, and independently of any typologies, morphologies or organizational systems of communal living, are an important constituent factor of the tradition of Mt. Athos. But the common qualitative element of tradition is the internal cohesion of all these different ways of living a monastic life, which is itself a coefficient of the rich evolutionary course of monasticism on Mt. Athos until the present.

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