Few kilometers northwest of the town of Kalabaka, the impressive rocks of Meteora are rising from the plains of Thessaly been one of the most amazing places in Greece. Many centuries ago, on these gigantic rocks with the breathtaking landscape reaching heights of more than 600 meters, it was formed one of the most important monastic communities of Greece. The Greek word Meteora means “suspended in the air” and this phrase aptly describes these remarkable Greek Orthodox monasteries.
Meteora is a great place to experience , a spectacular landscape and byzantine monasteries perched on top of steep rocks that house priceless artifacts and wall paintings. Today only six monasteries are active with a small number of monks or nuns who reside on Meteora.
In 1988, the Meteora monasteries have been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List and the Meteora-Antichassia area is part of the Natura 2000 network hosting some rare species of birds and flowers.
The Holy Meteora Monasteries
Holy Monastery of Great Meteoron
The Great Meteoron, also known as the Holy Monastery of the Metamorfossis (Transfiguration of Christ), is a male monastery and is the oldest and largest of all the monasteries of Meteora. It is built on the greatest rock of the complex, the Platys Lithos or Playtlithos. It was founded little before the mid-14th century (around 1340) by a scholar monk of Mount Athos, Saint Athanasios Meteorites.
The monastery has a pleasant courtyard and there are many amazing frescoes to see…READ MORE
Holy Monastery of Varlaam
The Varlaam Monastery is named after the first monk who built the first church on the rock. This was in 1350 and Varlaan built three churches, a room for himself and a water tank. Unfortunately no other monks joined him, after his death the site was abandoned for 200 years.
In 1517 two monks from Ioannina, Theophanes and Nektarios Apsarades , re-founded the monastery. Nowadays the monastery can be reached by a bridge and has a small museum, there are a lot of impressive 16th century paintings to see as well…READ MORE
Holy Monastery of Rousanou
The Rousanou Monastery was built in 1545 by Maximos and Ioasaph of Ioannina, it is unclear who the actual monastery is named after, but it is dedicated to St.Barbara. Like other monasteries at Meteora the Roussanou monastery was looted during the Second World War.
The monastery is reached by a bridge that has some dramatic drops. Nowadays the Monastery is run by Nuns…READ MORE
Holy Monastery of St. Nicholas Anapafsas
St. Nicholas Anapafsas monastery was founded in the 14th century and nobody is quite sure who the monastery is named after. This Monastery is most famous for its frescoes by the famous Cretan artist Theophanes Strelitzas in 1527. Some of these frescoes include the passion of Christ and the Virgin Mary praying.
The monastery fell into disrepair and was completely abandoned for 60 years from 1900 to the 1960’s when the Greek government repaired the monastery…READ MORE
Holy Monastery of St. Stephen
The 14th century St. Stephen monastery is the closest monastery in Meteora to the main town of Kalabaka, and so the easiest to visit. St. Stephen monastery was founded by St. Antoninus Cantacuzene, who is thought to be a son of the Serb ruler Nicephorus II of Epirus, in 1400.
The Katholikon at the monastery is dedicated to St. Charalambos who’s head it contains, as it is believed to prevent illnesses. Much of the monastery was destroyed during World War Two and the Greek civil war that followed. The monastery is run by Nuns…READ MORE
Holy Monastery of Holy Trinity
You may recognise the monastery of Holy Trinity as it was used in the James Bond movie ‘For your eyes only’ Roger Moore scales the cliff face. Out of all the monasteries of Meteora Holy Trinity has the most dramatic location, the rock face is a sheer drop and the rock itself is a lot more slender.
The monastery was built in 1458 and had many treasures, but most of these were looted by the Germans during the Second World War, most of the frescoes are from the 18th century…READ MORE