Mount Athos is a mountain and peninsula in northeastern Greece and an important centre of Eastern Orthodox monasticism. It is governed as an autonomous polity within the Greek Republic under the official name Autonomous Monastic State of the Holy Mountain . Mount Athos is home to 20 monasteries under the direct jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople. Mount Athos is commonly referred to in Greek as the “Holy Mountain” and the entity as the “Athonite State” . Other languages of Orthodox tradition also use names translating to “Holy Mountain” (e.g. Bulgarian and Serbian Света гора, Russian Святая Гора). In the classical era, while the mountain was called Athos, the peninsula was known as Acté or Akté . Mount Athos has been inhabited since ancient times and is known for its nearly 1,800-year continuous Christian presence and its long historical monastic traditions, which date back to at least 800 A.D. and the Byzantine era. Today, over 2,000 monks from Greece and many other countries, including Eastern Orthodox countries such as Romania, Moldova, Georgia, Bulgaria, Serbia and Russia, live an ascetic life in Athos, isolated from the rest of the world. The Athonite monasteries feature a rich collection of well-preserved artifacts, rare books, ancient documents, and artworks of immense historical value, and Mount Athos has been listed as a World Heritage Site since 1988.