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Holy Mount Athos is located in Eastern Greece on the peninsula, and reaches a height of 2 033 meters. For Orthodox Christians all over the world, the holy Mount Athos is one of the main sacred places, revered as the earthly Lot of the Mother of God. Today the site is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Athos is famous for its 20 monasteries, each of which has the status of patriarchal stavropegia. The creation of new monasteries on the territory of Athos is prohibited today.
The Great Lavra Monastery was founded by St. Athanasius of Athos in 963. The main ensemble of the monastery was built with donations from the emperors John Tzimiskes and Nicephorus Phocas.
Among the relics stored in the monastery today, one can distinguish – parts of the life-giving tree of the Cross of the Lord, miraculous icons, the rod and the cross of St. Athanasius, the relics of Saints Basil the Great, Andrew the First-Called, Ephraim the Syrian, Michael of Sinad and other saints. The library is also of interest, numbering about 100 manuscripts, 20 thousand books and more than 2 thousand manuscripts.
The Orthodox Greek Monastery of Vatopedus is the second in the hierarchy of the Athos monasteries, and also one of the oldest , vast and rich. The monastery was built in 972-85 by three famous and wealthy people – Nicholas, Anthony and Athanasius, who accepted monasticism and became disciples of Athanasius of Athos.
The main treasures of the monastery are particles of the relics of saints Andrew of Crete, Gregory the Theologian, Bartholomew, the holy martyr Charalampius, the great martyrs Paraskeva, Bacchus, Iodor Stratilates ... saints. Also noteworthy are the venerable belt of the Most Holy Theotokos, part of the Life-giving Cross of the Lord and numerous miraculous icons.
Orthodox male monastery Iviron was built by John of Iversky in 980-83. Today the monastery houses the largest number of holy relics, as well as the famous icon of the Goalkeeper. The library of the monastery is also of interest, with 15 scrolls, 2,000 manuscripts and 20,000 books, mostly written in Greek, Georgian, Latin and Hebrew.
Khilandar Monastery, owned by the Serbian Orthodox Church, today is one of the greatest religious shrines. He founded the monastery of St. Sava in 1198. The main relics of the monastery are the staff of Sava the Sanctified, the icon of the Mother of God, the Akathist icon of the Mother of God, particles of the crown of thorns, the Life-giving Cross, the shroud of Christ, the blood of the Lord, etc.
Other monasteries of Athos are also worth visiting – Dionysiates, Saint Paul, Kutlumush, Philotheus, Pantokrator, Zograf, Xyropotam, Dochiar, Simonopetra, Caracal, Stavronikita, Gregoriates, Xenophon, Esfigmen, Panteleimonov and Konstamonite
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Topic: Monasteries of Mount Athos in Greece, resort of Halkidiki.