'Mount Athos - The Call From Sleep' by Erhart Kaestner (translated by Barry Sullivan) 1961, Faber and Faber.
This book was first published in Germany in 1956 by Insel-Verlag under the title 'Die Stundentrommel vom Heiligen Berg Athos'.
The German title refers to the 'simantron' which roused [and maybe still rouses] the monks to their devotions.
This is a wonderful book by one of the most distinguished German prose writers. It is the product of two journeys he made to Mount Athos, which turned out to be pilgrimages. He describes vividly the different monasteries perched on crags or nestling in the rocky landscape, the cliff hermitages, the glittering opal sea, and the priceless treasures of Byzantine art. But most af all he gives a gallery of remarkable and colourful characters: scholars, simple monks, eccentrics, ikon painters.
It is an exposition of, and a witness to, what the Holy Mountain meant to him. A lovely read. Highly recommended.
For all I know, it may have changed in some respects since he wrote. But it is still an admirable and evocative book which touches one deeply.