Towering Rocks of Meteora

Meteora

A ride through the towering rocks of Meteora is an awe-inspiring experience. These beautiful naturally formed rock formations along with the breathtaking landscape of mountainous terrain that surrounds them will leave you astounded.

The serenity and isolation of this area had attracted monks of Eastern Orthodox church to build several monasteries on top of the rocks.  The word Meteora means “suspended in the air” in Greek, which is an apt word for the area having monasteries on the top of towering rocks.

Located in the Thessaly area of central Greece, Meteora is about 220 miles from the capital Athens and a few miles from the town of Kalambaka.

Meteora is a UNESCO world heritage site in two categories: nature and art.

Location

Rock Formations

The Meteora rocks were formed naturally about 60 million years ago. Geologist are divided over as to how these rocks were created. There are several theories that explain the formation of these gigantic rocks.  But one thing is certain, the current  form of the rocks was reached though weathering by wind and water over thousands of years.

There are over a thousand rocks, some of them rise to more than 2000 ft.

Towering rocks of Meteora

Monasteries

The towering rocks of Meteora are home to several  Greek Orthodox monasteries. Because of serenity and isolation, monks started building monasteries on top of rocks in the 14th century.  Back in the 16th century, there were 24 monasteries.  Now they have dwindled into six active monasteries, and all of them are open to the public. Of the six, two of them are nunneries.

Some of the monasteries have invaluable paintings and frescoes. During World War II, Nazis looted some of them.

Monastery of Great Meteoron

This monastery is known by other names, including Holy Monastery of Transfiguration and Monastery of Metamorfossis. Built in the 1300s, it is the oldest and largest monastery in Meteora. It is a male monks only monastery.

Monastery of Great Meteoron
Monastery of Great Meteoron

Monastery of Varlaan

Named after its founder monk Varlaan, this monastery was built in the mid 14th century and is the second largest in Meteora. It has a church dedicated to all saints.

Monastery of Varlaan

Monastery of Saint Stephen

This monastery was bombed during World War II by the Nazis  and was almost destroyed. It was rebuilt and made into a nunnery.

Monastery of St Stephen
Monastery of St Stephen

Monastery of Rousanou

This was built in mid 16th century and it is a nunnery.

Monastery of Russanou
Monastery of Russanou

Monastery of Aghia Triada (Holy Trinity)

This monastery was founded by monk Dometius built in 1475.  It is a male only monastery.

Monastery of Aghia Triada
Monastery of Aghia Triada

Monastery of Saint Nicholos Anapafsas

This monastery is called Monastery of Resting St. Nicholos and built on a smaller rock.

Monastery of St Nicholos
Monastery of St Nicholos

Panoramic Views

Meteora is truely a nature’s gift to mankind. The landscape is mountainous, serene and tranquil. The panoramic views of the Meteora valley are breathtaking and  spectacular.

Panoramic views of Meteora valley

Copyright © 2017 – 2018 Lawrence Rodrigues. All rights reserved.

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