They say that faith can make people do impossible and amazing things and one of the best examples of that lies in the heart of Greece, on top of the unique rock formations of Meteora to be exact.
On the steepest rocks of Meteora you can see structures trying to reach the sky. These are Cristian orthodox monasteries centuries old. In fact the first one was established at the beginning of the 14th century and it’s the monastery of Great Meteoro.
It’s hard for us to understand how they managed to build them back then, with the primitive tools they had, but when you enter one of them, you immediately notice a wooden balcony on top off a tower. In that balcony you can see a big trunk standing vertically, a few other smaller wooden sticks coming out of the middle of it and a rope rapt around it with a hook and a net at the end.
That contraption is actually a manpowered pulley that the monks invented to lift the materials they needed for the construction of the monastery. But probably they didn’t know that this would be also the only way to enter the monastery for centuries to come.
In the 15th century the Byzantine Empire got destroyed by the upcoming powerful empire of the Ottomans. Then region after region they concord the biggest part of the old empire and amongst them were also Meteora.
During those dark ages monks from all over started to hide during the persecution of the Christians and what better place to go than the monasteries of Meteora. The rocks offered natural fortification and the fact that the monasteries didn’t have any other way to enter than the pulley, saved many lives and many relics too.
After the danger passed, a few wooden ladders were added to make it easier to enter and finally nowadays the stone staircases and carved steps make it easier and safer for all of us to enter and explore them.
What better way to do that, than joining our daily tours that give you the opportunity to explore the area accompanied by our local guide who offers you farther insight to the history of Meteora!1