Rocks and Monasteries of 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. Meteora is now a UNESCO World Heritage site in two categories, nature and art.
Located in the Thessaly area of central Greece, Meteora is about 220 miles from Athens and a few miles from the town of Kalambaka.
The Meteora rocks were formed naturally about 60 million years ago. Geologists are divided over how these rocks were created. There are many theories to explain the formation of these gigantic rocks, but one thing is certain, the current form of the rocks was reached through 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
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 priceless 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 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 Rousanou
This was built in mid 16th century and it is a nunnery.
Monastery of Aghia Triada (Holy Trinity)
This monastery was founded by monk Dometius built in 1475. It is a male only monastery.
Monastery of Saint Nicholos Anapafsas
This monastery is called Monastery of Resting St. Nicholos and built on a smaller rock.
Meteora is truly nature’s gift to mankind. The landscape is mountainous, serene and tranquil. The panoramic views of the Meteora Valley are breathtaking and spectacular.
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