Halkidiki: Pilgrims of Orthodoxy…
Halkidiki was introduced to Christianity in 50AD when the Apostle Paul passed through Apollonia on his way from Philippi to Thessaloniki. Christianity became the legal religion of the Roman State since the era of Constantine I (beginning of the 4th century AD) and during the reign of Theodosius I, it was proclaimed as the official state religion. Therefore, there are ruins of early Christian churches all over Halkidiki.
After the foundation of Mount Athos monastic community, Halkidiki became the most important religious center for Orthodox pilgrims, while a lot of monasteries were founded during Byzantine era. Most of the monasteries outside Athos peninsula though were founded to be under the supervision of Mount Athos’s monks.