A mountain on the far eastern “finger” of the Halkidiki peninsula in the Aegean Sea. The autonomous monastic state was named after the mountain on the peninsula. In the Church terms, it falls under the Constantinople Patriarchal authority. The best known monasteries of the community, where under the Blessed Virgin’s protection the monks of numerous Orthodox lands have prayed and still do, are: Vаtоpеdi, Dionysiou, Zоgrаfou, Simоnоs Pеtrаs, Stаvrоnikitа and the Serbian Hilаndаr.
The first Athos monasteries were built in the 9th century. Women are not allowed access to Athos from the 11th century.