Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on Friday inaugurated an exhibition of photographs taken during his past visits to the semi-autonomous, all-male monastic community of Mount Athos, which will be on show at the Mount Athos Centre in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki until mid November.

    Also at the ceremony was Thessaloniki Mayor Yiannis Boutaris, who praised his efforts for religious tolerance and understanding, inter-faith dialogue and for the protection of the environment and his tireless efforts to support the rights of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Turkey.

    Bartholomew departed from the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul earlier on Friday in order to visit Mount Athos, where he will lead a mass at the Protatos Church on the peninsula in order to celebrate the 20th anniversary since his election as Patriarch.

    He is also due to visit some of the many monasteries on the peninsula in order to meet the monks in person, while on Monday he will return to Thessaloniki in order to visit the Lagada Metropolitan Cathedral.

    The Patriarch is due back in Fanar on October 12.