Simonopetra Monastery (Athos)
Simonopetra Monastery (Athos) is one of the many monasteries that occupy the peninsula commonly called Mount Athos. While the origins of a monastery founded by Blessed Simon that may have been the beginnings of the existing monastery are clouded in the mists of time, the recorded establishment of the present monastery around 1368 is credited to the Serbian prince Ioannis Ugljesa. The monastery has through the years experienced changing fortunes as it has weathered various political and leadership issues and natural disasters. With the formation of a number of metochia during the twentieth century the monastery is weathering the latest disastrous fire of 1990.
Establishment of settlements of hermits on Athos began in the later part of the first millennium. Organized monastic communities, while maintaining close relations with Athos, were restricted to the neighboring Halkidiki area. As the numbers of monks increased in the Athos area, the use of the expression “holy mountain