Jun 7 2011
The Greeks called this region "in the heavens above", due to the formation of the rocks that took shape 60 million years ago. These unique monasteries are constructed on pinnacles of rock that were a result of earthquakes and weathering. Excavations all around this region in the caves also discovered radiocarbon which evidences human presence that dates as far as 50,000 years. A truly unique area.
This complex of Eastern Orthodox churches is important to Greece, that it is only second to Mount Athos. The nearest town to Metéora is Kalambaka. Metéora is also included on the UNESCO World Heritage list which makes it a very important part of heritage.
Holy Monastery of Varlaam
This monastery is the second largest monastery in the Metéora complex. It was built in 1541 and embellished in 1548.
A church, dedicated to All Saints, is in the Athonite type (cross-in-square with dome and choirs), with spacious esonarthex (lite) is surrounded by a dome.
It was built in 1541/42 and decorated in 1548, while the esonarthex was decorated in 1566.
The old refectory is used as a museum while North of the Church we can see the parekklesion of the Three Bishops built in 1627 and decorated in 1637.
The wet months of the year this region looks very spectacular.
Holy Monastery of Rousanou/St. Barbara
This was founded in the middle of 16th century AD and decorated in 1560.
This regions weather is said to be very hot in the summer and very cold during the winter. Tropical like humidity is also usual here during the wet months of the year.
The courtyards of these monasteries are very beautifully designed and decorated.
Holy Monastery of Great Meteoron
This is the largest of the monasteries located at Metéora.
It was erected in the mid-14th century AD and was the subject of restoration and embellishment projects in 1483 and 1552.
The building serves as the main museum for tourists. The Katholikon (main church), consecrated in honour of the Transfiguration of Jesus was erected in the middle of 14th c. and 1387/88 and decorated in 1483 and 1552.
Holy Monastery of St. Nicholas Anapausas
Built in the 16th century AD, this is a small church. It was decorated by the Cretan painter Theophanis Strelitzas, in 1527.
Holy Monastery of St. Stephen
This small church was built in the 16th century and decorated in 1545.
This monastery rests on the plain rather than on a cliff. It was damaged by the Nazis during WWII who believed it was harboring insurgents.
It was abandoned. Nuns took it over and reconstructed it.
Monastery of the Holy Trinity
This monastery is on top of the cliffs. This monastery is probably the most popular, it was filmed in the 1981 James Bond movie "For Your Eyes Only".
It was built in 1475 and was remodeled many times in 1684, 1689, 1692, 1741.