Mount Athos

According to the Holy tradition, as Virgin Mary was travelling with John the Evangelist to Cyprus, were forced to tie up on the NE side of Mount Athos. Virgin Mary was enthused over the divine beauty of the landscape and asked from her Son, to endow Her the peninsula. So it happened..Since then and till now, Mount Athos is called “The Garden of Virgin Mary”.

The first monasteries were initially built during the era of Constantine the Great, but lots of them were destructed. Most of them though were rebuilt by various kings.

The first Mount Athos’ residents were Peter the Athonite, and later Euthymios the Thessalonikes. The most important reasons for Mount Athos’ inhabitance by ascetic monks were the cities’destructions by various wars, having as result the destruction of the monasteries as well. Iconoclasm that broke out in Constantinople, also played a great role, forcing lots of monks to look for a shelter to isolated locations.

In 1960, Athanasios the Athonite, coming from Minor Asia, and with the valuable help of Nikephoros Phokas, founded the Megistis Lavras Monastery. A little later were founded the monasteries of Iviron, Vatopediou, Chilandariou, and through the centuries, the other monasteries as well.

Since then, Mount Athos suffered from lots of destructions and wars. It still remains though intact and it is considered to be the biggest castle of orthodoxy.

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