The Spirit of
GeographyMount Athos is situated in the eastern and most enchanting
third peninsula of Halkidiki, which is called the peninsula of Athos.
It is the only place in Greece, which is totally devoted to praying
and worshiping God and thus, it is called the Holy Mount. The Holy
Mount or the Mount Athos has about 50 Km length, 8 to 12 Km width
and it covers a surface of about 350 square kilometers. The borders
of the monasterial city are set on the ground by an imaginary line
that begins from the location "Fragokastro" on the West
coast and reaches the cape "Arapis" on the opposite side.
The natural beauty of the peninsula is wonderful. The Mount Athos
that dominates there is an enormous cone of 2.033 meters height.
It’s bare top that seems to be piercing the sky and its slopes,
which are full of old evergreens, give the area a unique natural
Mount Athos is a self- governed division of the Greek state. Politically
it comes under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs but religiously it
comes under the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople.It has been
divided into twenty self- governed territories. Each territory consists
of a leading monastery and some other monastic settlements around
it (hermitages, cells, huts, seats). All the monasteries are communes,
which means that the monks have a common liturgy, prayer, housing,
board and work. The Abbot of the monastery, who is elected by the
monks for life, is in charge of the monastery. The Abbots of the
monasteries are members of the Holy Assembly and exercise legislative
authority. Furthermore, every year the monastery elects its representative
in the Holy Community, which exercises administrative authority,
while the Holy Supervision exercises executive authority and is
consisted of 4 members, elected by the first 5 leading monasteries.