Monastery Simonos Petra
The seven-storey monastery of Simonopetra is the boldest construction of Mount Athos and a miracle in monastic architecture. It literally stands perched on a steep cliff and overlooks with all its imposing the usually blue sea of the south-west side of the peninsula. It is dedicated to the Birth of Christ (December the 25th) to commemorate the founder's vision. The foundation of the monastery is due to the Blessed Simon, who lived in Athos in the mid of the13th century. In particular, the holy ascetic was nearby when he saw a light on the rock during the night of Christmas, from which he was leaded to this place and began to build the monastery. At this hard work he was helped by other monks, who came to live with him and some of them also provided their personal property for the monastery. But according to a certain tradition that refers to the building of the monastery, that first group of Simon became afraid as it became higher and higher, so that they all decided to flee, leaving the project undone. Before their leaving Simon sent the disciple of Isaiah to give them goods, but he suddenly slipped and fell slumping on the projections of the rock. The miracle however happened and the monk stood up without the slightest suffer and with him the plate with dinnerware and goods. So, according to the tradition, the builders got back their courage and continued their work until the end. At the beginning Simon named the monastery "New Bethlehem", but later it got its current name from the founder and the stone on which it is built. The first construction rose thanks to the generous sponsorship of the Serbian ruler John Ounglesi in 1362, according to the edict, who sent there his superintendent Efthimios with many gifts to help the completion of the monastery. Thus, thanks to various other donations, a good period in its history began. In the Third Typical of Mount Athos (1394) we find it on the twenty-third place among the other monasteries and the same time it has some dependencies in various places outside the Athos.