SIMONOPETRA MONASTERY, Mt. Athos, Greece. One of 20 monasteries in the Greek "Holy Mountains", Simonopetra was founded during the 13th century. While the southern coast of Athos is quite rugged in general, the site on which the monastery is built is exceptionally harsh. It has survived three major fires throughout the centuries after which the monastery was rebuilt in its current form. Simonopetra stands on the edge of a cliff measuring 330 meters high.