The Six Meteora Monasteries, Greece: The 8th Wonder of the World
Meteora is a group of monasteries built on huge natural sandstone pillars as much as 600 metres high, giving the sense that they are floating in mid-air.
There were 6 peak-top monasteries around Meteora in central Greece. Built on sandstone megaliths that rise to 1,800 feet in the valley floor, the very first of these precarious enclaves dates towards the 14th century. Now accessible by road and bridge, earlier monks and pilgrims needed to rely on ladders and baskets raised by winches to achieve the top.
The gives up Meteora, Greece, had inhabitants for fifty millennia, but because of raids, “hermit monks” moved to the safety of sandstone rock pinnacles within the 9th century and commenced building monasteries. More monks and nuns came, building more monasteries perched high upon the cliffs.
6 Meteora Monasteries
The Holy Monastery of Megalou Meteorou:
It’s located on the highest and longest in extend rock. It had been established in 1340 by Aghios Athanassios Meteoritis (1302-1380). It’s worth to see the tower (1520), today’s Folklore Museum with old appliances and tools, the ossuary, the church of Metamorfoseos tou Sotiros or Transfiguration of Jesus (the sanctum was built-in 1388 and the main church using the narthex in 1545), the Holy Altar (built-in 1557 and at present Museum of Church Heirloom) and also the kitchener (cook-room of 1557, nowadays Folklore Museum with old copper, clay and wooden kitchen implements).
The Holy Monastery of Agios Stefanos:
Saint Antonios (first 1 / 2 of the 15th century) and Saint Filotheos (in the center of 16th century) are generally honoured as monastery founders. The little Aghios Stefanos church is a single-aisled basilica, built-in 1350. Today’s Aghios Charalampos church (1798) has athonic arcitecture and it is decorated with amazing fretworks. Its imposing Holy Altar continues to be turned into a modern museum most abundant in impressive church heirlooms: Scripts, post Byzantine icons, canonicals and fabrics embroidered with gold, fretworks, fine silverware pieces etc.
The Holy Monastery of Varlaam:
Based on history, it was first inhabited by monk Varlaam within the 14th century. The largest part of the athonic type church which was built in 1542, is dedicated to Agious Pantes. The primary body of the church has numerous murals painted through the Theban painter Fragko Katelano in 1542. After 16th century as well as in the beginning of 17th century probably the most organized bibliographic laboratory of Meteora monasteries along with a special gold thread embroidery workshop were functioning here.
The Holy Monastery of Agia Triada:
It’s located on a typical imposing and steep rock of Meteora. Through the script of the potentate Simeon Ouresi-Paleologou appears that Aghia Triada was a structured monastery since 1362. The church we have seen today was constructed around 1476 which is a small crosslike double-columned church having a dome. Also very interesting may be the Monastery Folklore Museum with a wide selection of old clothing, appliances, tools along with other folklore items.
The Holy Monastery of Rousanou/St. Barbara:
It had been built in 1529 on the ruins of older constructions. The church of Metamorfoseos tou Sotiros or Transfiguration of Jesus was built around 1530 and it is of athonic type. Its wall paintings since the main body from the church and the narthex fit in with the Cretan Art School (based on the experts’ opininon, it belongs to Gorgie, student of Theofanis the Cretan). Despite the church being focused on Metamorfosi tou Sotiros, the believers celebrate the memory of Aghia Varvara (4th of December) concentrating on the same grandeur and devotion inside a nearby chapel.
The Holy Monastery of Aghios Nikolaos Panausas:
The multilevel, graceful and imposing Holy Monastery of Aghios Nikolaos Panausas can be found near Kastraki Village, among the ruined monasteries of Prodromou, Aghias Monis and Pantokratoros. The organized monastic lifestyle in this monastery was established throughout the first decades from the 14th century. The frescos would be the oldest signed paintings developed by Theofanis the Cretan and carry all of the characteristic features of this excellent angiographer of the Cretan Art School.
The monasteries possess a strict dress code men must wear trousers and long sleeves, women must wear an extended skirt. If you do show up in shorts trousers and shirts is going to be provided.Each Monastery includes a 2 Euros entrance fee and every monastery has different opening hours, begin to see the sidebar for details.
When visiting Meteora consume to consideration the Monasteries are not all in one complex and there’s a distance between each from the monasteries. Agios Stefanos which is nearest towards the town of Kalambaka is over two Kilometres from the Great Meteoron which is the furthest in the town.