Agion Oros (Mount Athos) or as it is officially called the “Holy Community of Agion Oros” is an “Autonomous Monastic State” within Greece, which is considered the center of Orthodox monasticism.

It is one of the most important places not only of the Balkans, but also of Europe and the Eastern Orthodox Church due to its great national, historical and religious, literature and cultural value, as well as an important center for the preservation and conservation of rich material and rightly described as a “sanctuary” and “museum” of a unique treasure of Greek art and letters.

Agion Oros is also called “Garden of the Virgin Mary”, a name that comes from history: When Mary traveled with the Evangelist John to visit Lazarus, a storm forced their boat to moor in a safe harbor on the peninsula. Mary was impressed by the rare beauty of the place and asked her Son to give it to her as a present. It is a sacred place enclosed over the centuries by myths and history, religion and art, for a thousand years now, characterized by UNESCO as a valuable world cultural heritage.

The imposing Mount Athos urged people to associate it with myths because of its grandeur. According to ancient Greek mythology, Mount Athos was created when the giant Athos (son of Uranus and Gaia) during the Battle of the Giants, the battle between the Gods and Giants, incited by Gaia to avenge Zeus who imprisoned the Titans, Mount Athos snatched a rock (mountain of Thrace) and threw it against the Gods but it fell on the edge of Halkidiki and became the homonymous peninsula, the top of which received its name (Athos).

According to a variation of the myth, Mount Athos was fortified on the homonymous peninsula which was his base in the battle against the gods with allies the ancient inhabitants of the area. Athos was defending himself there when Poseidon threw against him a mountain that he had previously cut off from Pallini and crushed him. Since then the mountain bears his name.

However, an important point is the fact that one of the nicknames of Zeus was that “Athoos Zeus” because at the top of the homonymous mountain of the peninsula there was a large statue of him.

There were also many altars of various deities believing that were above the clouds where it never rained Even the ancient inhabitants believed that the shadow of Mount Athos reached the island of Lemnos and covered the famous statue of Lemnos Voos(cow) in Myrina.

Do not hesitate to contact Agion Oros Treks for any additional information about the Center of Orthodox monasticism.