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Regions of Europe

Holy Mountain

Mount Athos, also called Holy Mountain (Áyion Óros) has enjoyed an autonomous statute since Byzantine times. It is a unique monastic republic of Orthodox monks inhabiting 20 monasteries and dependencies (skítes), and it is governed by its own local administration.

The monks are detached even from each other, reserving most of their time for prayer and solitude. It occupies the easternmost of the three promontories of the Halkidiki peninsula, which projects from the Macedonia region into the Aegean Sea. The capital and only town of Holy Mountain is Karyes (Καρυές).

Coat of Arms: The Ecumenical Patriarchate and Mount Athos use a black double-headed eagle in a yellow field as their emblem. The eagle is depicted as clutching a sword and an orb with a crown above and between its two heads.

Sources: UNESCO | National Geographic | Britannica | Wikipedia


Regions of Europe


Happy birthday, Burgenland (1921-2021)! Burgenland is the easternmost state of Austria, bordering Hungary on the east, Niederösterreich (Lower Austria) on the northwest and Steiermark (Styria) on the southwest. Derived from parts of the four former west Hungarian counties, it became an Austrian federal state in 1921. The name Burgenland means "castle land" due to the large number of castles in the region. Burgenland’s capital is Eisenstadt.

Coat of Arms: A crowned eagle regardant, standing upon a rock with an escutcheon on his breast. In dexter and sinister cantons are two crosslets. The arms were created and officially granted in 1922. The arms are a combination of the arms of the two most powerful families in the area in medieval times. The eagle with crosslets is derived from the arms of the counts of Mattersdorf-Forchtenstein, the breast shield from the arms of the counts of Güssing-Bernstein.

Sources: Wikipedia | Britannica | Heraldry-Wiki