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The Mount Athos
Home Featured The Mount Athos

The Mount Athos (gr. Aγιoν Oρoς), a peninsula Athos situated on a large Chalkidiki peninsula, is an autonomous state under Greek sovereignty…
There are so many things by which is the Mount Athos recognizable, strange and different as well. Once the Bishop Nikolaj Velimirović wrote:
“The kingdom without a crown,
State without an army,
Wisdom without school,
Cuisine without meat,
Wealthy without money,
World without women”…

This is a land that you will visit “without touching the ground”, while you are cruising, mostly sightseeing from the sea only the west side of the peninsula with a minimum distance of 500 meters where is the official boundaries or area outside the territorial waters of the Mount Athos. It is not allowed cruising tourists boats at the east side of the peninsula because of strong sea stream, sharp rocks and big waves.

mount athos

In the Mount Athos there are in a total 20 monasteries (17 Greek and one Bulgarian, Russian and Serbian) and once in the Mount Athos were over 300 monasteries! About 2300 monks live on the Mount Athos whose one day is divided into 8 working hours, 8 hours of prays and 8 hours of sleep. Prays can last for about 12 hours when it comes day dedicated to some Saint.

It is allowed only male’s foot to access on the Holy Mount Athos, monks and men with special permissions. It is interesting that the Holy Mount Athos has no infrastructure, roads, water supply system… You can only approach from the sea side.


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It is not allowed visit to the Holy Mount Athos by woman even keeping female animals. No one knows why this rule applies. By the one theory this rule applies according to the state decree of the Byzantine emperor, a thousand years old, and it is respected till today! Namely, in the 11th century there was a large hunger and people came to Athos monasteries. To avoid and to prevent debauchery, the Byzantine emperor issued the famous decree.

manastir hilandar

According to some another legend, while the holy Virgin Mary was sailing this way, the storm forced her to come to the pagan Athos. The Virgin Mary walked on the coast and, overwhelmed by the wild beauty, she blessed the land, and asked Jesus Christ to turn the land into her garden. There was a voice whispering from somewhere: “Let this place be your heritage and your garden, a paradise and haven of salvation for those who seek the salvation.” From that moment the Holy Mount Athos is dedicated to the Mother of God, as a garden, where women can not come.

On the Holy Mount Athos, there is only one city Karyes with a population of about twenty inhabitants. It is considered the administrative center of the Holy Mount Athos.

The following monasteries are situated on the Holy Mount Athos:
1. Great Lavra Monastery
2. Vatopedi Monastery
3. Iviron Monastery
4. Helandariou Monastery
5. Dionysiou Monastery
6. Koutloumousiou Monastery
7. Pantokratoros Monastery
8. Xiropotamou Monastery
9. Zografou Monastery
10. Dochiariou Monastery
11. Karakalou Monastery
12. Filotheou Monastery
13. Simonos Petras Monastery
14. Saint Paul’s Monastery
15. Stavronikita Monastery
16. Xenophontos Monastery
17. Osiou Grigoriou Monastery
18. Esphigmenou Monastery
19. Saint Panteleimon Monastery
20. Konstamonitou Monastery


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