Meteora Meteora

Meteora

Meteora is one of the most striking sights in Greece. It is situated above the town of Kalambáka, on the north-western edge of the Plain of Thessaly, a few hours out of Athens and consists of six monasteries that are built on natural sandstone rock pillars, 400 metres above the ground. The name Meteora is Greek for suspended in the air, which perfectly describes these six remarkable Greek orthodox monasteries. The complex is included on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1988 because of its astonishing natural beauty and its deep historical significance.
Geologists say these rock pillars were formed during multiple movements of earth and continuous weathering by extreme temperatures, water and wind. The process has began about 60 million years ago.
After Mount Athos, Meteora is the second largest monastic and pilgrimage area in Greece. The rocks were first inhabited by Byzantine hermits in the 11th century, they clambered up the sandstone peaks to be alone with God. Some monasteries were built in the centuries that followed and all the building materials had to be winched up in baskets. Until 1920 this was the sole means for getting supplies up to the monasteries. The present monasteries were built in the 14th and 15th centuries during a time of instability of the hermit ideal. The first was Great Meteoron (c.1340) and there were 24 monasteries by 1500. Only six of them survive today, four of which still host monastic communities.
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Nowadays the monasteries can be reached by following the steps cut into the rock or riding up a special cable car, but in the past, themonks had to climb steep rocks. Adventure enthusiasts must opt for climbing, the ideal way to get an adrenaline rush and enjoy the beauty of the landscape.
The six world famous monasteries in Meteora Greece are:
  • The Holy Monastery of Great Meteoron - largest one that serves as the main museum;
  • The Holy Monastery of Varlaam;
  • The Holy Monastery of Rousanou/St. Barbara;
  • The Holy Monastery of St. Nicholas Anapausas;
  • The Holy Monastery of St. Stephen;
  • The Monastery of Holy Trinity.
These six monasteries are now top tourist attractions and they attract thousands of tourists every year in the country.
Meteora is a must see tourist destination for those who love nature, they shouldn’t miss the opportunity to hike through winding stone paths and gaze at a unique geological phenomenon. Whether you are a cultural traveller, a spiritual seeker or a believer, Meteora will help you to know yourself better and will offer you the opportunity to connect with nature, taking you on an unforgettable journey in the most profound sense of the word.
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