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Mount Athos is a self-governing part of the Greek State, located on the peninsula of Mount Athos in Halkidiki, Macedonia. It includes the twenty Holy Monasteries, their accessories and various shops and services. Since 1988 it is included in the list of World Heritage Sites.


The peninsula of Athos is the easternmost and roughest of the three sub-parallel peninsulas (Kassandra or Pallini, Logos or Sithonia – central, and Mount Athos or Mount Athos) that make up the Halkidiki peninsula. This peninsula is covered by Mount Athos, 2033m high, hence its name, and ends at Cape Nymfaio or Akrothon. It lacks rivers and lakes. It is connected to Halkidiki with the narrow isthmus of Xerxes, a low strip of land, 2 km long, historical from the Persian wars in 480 BC. while NE the gulf of Ierissos.

A few miles SE of Mount Athos is the largest precipice in the Aegean that from a depth of 80m, abruptly reaches 1070m.


Establish a name

We find the first name and renaming in the Life of the Martyrs of Tiberiopolis of Theophylaktos Ohridos, where we read: According to the first Standard that was ratified by the Emperor John Tsimiskis, Mount Athos is simply called “Mount”. Maybe that was the usual name of the place then.

However, the predominance of the name “Mount Athos” seems to have taken place during the first half of the 12th century, specifically in a golden document of the Emperor Alexios I Komnenos to the Holy Monastery of Megisti Lavra in 1144, which is definitively and officially recognized and the new name is imposed. as it is written on it: “From now on the name of Mount Athos will be called Mount Athos after all”. In later imperial and other documents it is referred to as “The Holy Mount Athos”.