Regarding architecture, the essence of the singularity of Mount Athos lies in the way the ecclesiastical and the secular are intertwined, leading to the manifestation of a great variety of unusual architectural forms, “deviations” from the known architectural styles and familiar approaches to building, that exceed the building history of the Balkans. This phenomenon, evident in the entire Holy Mountain, appears highly emphatic and condensed in the Athonite capital of Karyes.

Several changes that have occurred in the building fabric of Karyes, mostly during the 20th century, did not divest the historic townlet of the cosmopolitan character of its architecture. Doors and windows follow this cosmopolitan tendency that prevails on Athos. Neoclassical and popular elements, neo-Renaissance and eclecticist, humble or ornate, simple or decorated with rosettes and apotropaic compositions, wooden or iron, the Athonite doors and windows are often products of toil of the Athonite craftsmen, of monks and laymen, carpenters and blacksmiths, but also imported from the outer world. Furthermore, we often find reused doors and windows on Athos, as the spirit of recycling, a distinct characteristic of the monks is still alive.

The photographs of the exhibition rescues a representative collection of doors and windows from the wider area of Karyes, some of which no longer exist. Products of need, vehicles of memory, evidence of skill and culture, doors and windows belong to the perishable and finally consumable components of the building history of a place. While standing before a threshold, always bear in mind that as the eyes are the mirror of the soul, so the doors and windows witness the unseen core of life that they define and guard; therefore they deserve our attention, respect and love.