This is my first photo of the Athos Peninsula.
Simonopetra Monastery is an Eastern Orthodox monastery in the monastic state of Mount Athos in Greece. Simonopetra ranks thirteenth in the hierarchy of the Athonite monasteries.
The monastery is located in the southern coast of the Athos peninsula, between the Athonite port of Dafni and Osiou Grigoriou monastery. While the southern coast of Athos is quite rugged in general, the particular site upon which the monastery is built is exceptionally harsh. It is built on top of a single huge rock, practically hanging from a cliff 330 metres over the sea. The monastery currently houses 54 monks.
The monastery was founded during the 13th century by Simon the Athonite, who was later sanctified by the Eastern Orthodox Church as Osios Simon the Myrrohovletes. Tradition holds that Simon, while dwelling in a nearby cave, saw a dream in which the Theotokos instructed him to build a monastery on top of the rock, promising him that she would protect and provide for him and the monastery. The original monastery was called by Simon "New Bethlehem" ( and is to this day dedicated to the Nativity of Jesus.
In 1364, the Serbian despot Jovan Ugljesa funded the renovation and expansion of the monastery. In 1581, Simonopetra was destroyed by a fire, in which a large portion of the monks died. Evgenios, the monastery's abbot traveled to the Danubian Principalities hoping to raise funds to rebuild the monastery. The most important donor was Michael the Brave, Prince of Wallachia, who donated large portions of land as well as money to the monastery. The monastery was also burnt in 1626, and the last great fire happened in 1891, after which the monastery was rebuilt to its current form.
During recent centuries, the monks of the monastery were traditionally from Ionia in Asia Minor. However, during the mid 20th century the brotherhood was greatly thinned out because of a great reduction in the influx of new monks. The current brotherhood originates from the Holy Monastery of Great Meteoron in Meteora as in 1973 the Athonite community decided to repopulate the almost abandoned monastery.
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krzychu30 (9399) 2012-10-17 6:03
very nice scene,but one thing attract my attention particularly,it┤s this superb contrast and strong,vivid colors,that make the scene so picturesque.Excellently composed scene and the Monastery is really unique located.I bet the way up there is not easy.Did you go there?
Have a nice day
holmertz (27216) 2012-10-17 7:30
This is a fascinating view of this very strange little "republic". Apart from the sea it reminds me of the Himalayas, where there are many similar monasteriers placed high up on mountainsides. The light blue sky and dark blue sea frame the grey and green mountain perfectly. A very well composed photo with superb sharpness.
ikeharel (38090) 2012-10-17 9:40
Good evening Serghei,
A fascinating location, with the monastry built on mid-hight of the ridge.
Taken on bright daylight, managed to devide into three levels - the picture conveys well the scenery around.
Just a bit enhanced contrast, i assume due to very bright daylight.
JFS (32429) 2012-10-17 11:13
I like your POV very much, the vivid blue sea and the white stone of the mountain, the mnonastery is amazing, there hanging over the sea...The above blue sky completes the beautiful image.
All the best!
ACL1978 (6103) 2012-10-17 15:31
Homeowners insurance must be impossibly expensive in Greece.
Great shot, Serghei, that really expresses the sheer height and precipitous drop from this monastery. Giving us the full mountainside, complete with smaller building at bottom, drives home the sense of scale really nicely. Good sharpness and light here.
siamesa (27455) 2012-10-18 1:04
Bom dia Serghei
Fantastic point of view. Very interesting and beautiful place. Perfect capture. TFS
jhm (123140) 2012-10-18 2:25
A lovely vertical frame with beneath a part blue water.
The monastery is the real eye catcher between the big rocks and green trees around the monastery.
Sharpness and clarity be superb.
Excellent composition and nice presentation.
Very well done, TFS.
Have a nice day,
maria-v1981 (10409) 2012-10-18 7:17
Each monastery has its own history and architecture. The strange thing is how these masterpieces were built in the middle of nowhere. It is not surprising? Unfortunatly woman can't visit the Mount of Athos. Wonderful image.
Have a nice evening,
elenimavrandoni (5807) 2013-02-02 12:02
Hello Seghei, historical and majestic Monastery amazing apprearance in the Halkidiki mountains in perfect harmony with the dark blue of the ocean!
A unique and very special picture!