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Strange And Amazing Facts About Mount Athos

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Strange And Amazing Facts About Mount Athos
Lebanon News
Mount Athos has been a Greek Orthodox spiritual center since 1054. The 'Holy Mountain' is also a recognized artistic site.
 
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Here are three amazing facts about the sacred mountain.

- Only Monks are allowed to live on Mount Athos:

Mount Athos is a mountainous peninsula in northern Greece.
 
It hosts around 20 Eastern Orthodox monasteries and enjoys an autonomous state under Greek sovereignty. Only monks are allowed to live on Athos and the number of the current population reaches around 1,400.
 
 

- Mount Athos is forbidden to women:
 
According to strictly enforced custom, women have been forbidden to visit Mount Athos since its earliest days.

A monk cuts his ties from his biological mother but gains another: the Holy Virgin Mary (who, legend says, was blown off course while sailing to Cyprus, visited Mount Athos, and blessed its pagan inhabitants, who then converted to Christianity).

However, In the 14th century, Serbian Emperor Dušan the Mighty brought his wife, Helena of Bulgaria, to Mount Athos to keep her safe from the plague, but she did not touch the ground during her entire visit, as she was carried in the hand carriage all the time.
French writer Maryse Choisy entered Mount Athos in the 1920s disguised as a sailor, and later wrote about her escapade in Un mois chez les hommes ("A Month With Men").
 

In the 1930s, Aliki Diplarakou, the first Greek beauty pageant contestant to win the Miss Europe title, stunned the world when she disguised as a man and sneaked into Mount Athos.
 
In 1953, Cora Miller, an American Fulbright Program teacher from Athens, Ohio, arrived briefly along with two other women, stirring up a controversy among the monks.

A 2003 resolution of the European Parliament requested lifting the ban for breaching "the universally recognized principle of gender equality".

In 2008, five Moldovan nationals illegally arrived to Greece by way of Turkey, ending up on Athos; four of the migrants were women. The monks forgave them and told them that the area was forbidden to women.
 
 
- Monks are disconnected to the outside world:
Mount Athos has survived by bending where it must, though never without fretfulness. Roads and buses, then electricity, then cell phones have all been sources of anxiety. The latest advance is the Internet.
A few monasteries have conducted ever so shy incursions into cyberspace—ordering spare parts, communicating with lawyers, obtaining scholarly research.

"It's a great danger to be connected to the outside world," cautions one monk.

"Most of the monks weren't even informed about 9/11."
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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