Even after centuries of mystery and discovery, Greece’s Mt. Athos remains a lure and one of the most intriguing sites in the country. Its position after the liberation from the Turks was established at the London Conference of 1912. Mount Athos was considered as an independent state under the protection of Russia.
In July 2011 an international team of cavers explored 26 caves located in Mount Athos and recently, they announced a short summary of their work. In ancient times, the peninsula of Athos was originally inhabited area by Thracians and Macedonians, and later by settlers of Epirus – all marine routes linking Greece with the North, were passing from Athos. Its summit, which reached two kilometers, in ancient times, was used as a lighthouse, which was visible from miles away.
With the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923 it was voted that Athos belonged to Greece and it was implemented three years later. During WWII, Mt. Athos’ monasteries retained their autonomy and were not damaged, as they were during the Greek Civil War from 1946-49 during military operations. Mt. Athos welcomes the pilgrims and monks, but only males as women are not allowed.