Take a Virtual Tour of Mount Athos

Here we enthusiastically provide you with a link to Virtually Tour Mount Athos, an Orthodox Christian Monastic community with continuous History of more than 1000 years.

Brief History

The peninsula of Athos during the pre-Christian period was named Akti or Athos. Its name derives from the mountain peak that exists on the peninsula, reaching a height of 2033 m., which is called Athos.

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During the first campaign of the Persians against the Greeks (491-490 B.C.), three hundred ships of Mardonius, the son-in-law of Xerxes, were shipwrecked at the cape of Athos on account of high and rough seas, and thus the expedition was lost.

Ten years later (481-480 B.C.) there came the second campaign of the Persians against Greece and Europe. Xerxes, fearful that he not suffer the same fate as Mardonius, lead this second expedition himself, and in order to avoid the circumnavigation of Athos, he dug a canal at the peninsula’s most narrow point and passed his ships onto southern Greece.

Quite a bit of information is provided by the historians Herodotus, Thoukidides, Skylax and others, concerning the cities and the inhabitants of the Akti peninsula. From them we are informed of the towns of Athos: Sani, Dion, Olophyxos, Akroathos or Akrothoi, Thyssos, Chalandria, Ourania Polis (Ouranoupoli), and Korasia.

These cities were administratively autonomous with a special parliament and treasury. In exceptional cases the decisions of the Parliament were subjected to the judgment of the township and the people had the final say.

Athos as a Monastic Center

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From the first years of the spread of Christianity the preaching of the Gospel was brought to the inhabitants of the Athonite peninsula. Tradition relates that Constantine the Great built three Churches on the peninsula in honor of the Most Holy Mother of God. One of these churches he built in the center of the peninsula, where today sits the Temple of the Protaton, in Karyes.

Already, from this time period it appears that slowly monks came to the peninsula’s entrance, settled, built monasteries and were organized into a monastic community.

From the seventh to ninth centuries we have well organized monasticism on Athos.

Saint Peter the Athonite is considered to be one of the oldest known monks to have struggled ascetically on Athos. He lived as an ascetic in an inaccessible area of Athos for over fifty-three years. The Most Holy Virgin revealed to Saint Peter in a vision the place of asceticism as well as the special protection She would show toward the monks of Mount Athos.

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For your Virtual Tour visit https://mountathos360.com/en/

 

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