The Monastic Republic, officially the Serene Monastic Republic of the Holy Mountain (Γαλινότατ Μοναστίκ Διμοκρατί Αγι Όρου)(Greek: η Γαληνότατη Μοναστική Δημοκρατία Αγίου Όρους), is a country in Eastern Europe, occupying the easternmost peninsula of Chalkidiki. The capital is Karyes.
According to the legend the Virgin Mary (Παναγί), accompanied by St. John the Evangelist, was sailing from Joppa to Cyprus to visit Lazarus. When the ship was blown off course to Aktí (Ακτή), the pagan Athos, it was forced to drop anchor near the port of Klement, close to the present-day monastery of St. John the Iberian. The Mother of Jesus walked ashore and, overwhelmed by the wonderful and wild natural beauty of the mountain she blessed it and asked her Son to give it to her as a garden. And he replied, "Let this place be your inheritance and your garden, a paradise and a haven of salvation for those seeking to be saved." Ever since then the mountain has been consecrated as the garden of the Mother of God and, for this reason, it is out of bounds to any other women.
The first monastery was built in 963. At one time there were over 300 monasteries and sketes on the peninsula. By the time of independence only 19 were occupied. The monasteries suffered, sometimes severely, at the hands of the Crusaders and the Turks. At the conclusion of the First Balkan War, in 1870, the Monastic Republic was given its independence as a permanently neutral nation as the result of the treaty with the defeated Ottoman Empire. In 1878, the Holy Synod, the governing body of the Republic, unilaterally severed its ties to the Ecumenical Patriarchate. In 1889, the Patriarch acceded and consecrated the archimandrite as bishop.
Historical Timeline, Timeline of Fires, Rotation Schedule for the Archimandrites, Public Law Chronology
Geography, Territorial Waters, Climate, Vegetation, Fauna
Definitions, the Archimandrite, the Holy Synod, the Holy Council, the Lowland and the Isles
Economy of the MR: Tourism, Agriculture, Industries, Imports
The Gendarmery, Public Law No. 8, Organization, The Uniforms, The Evzones