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Abbeys - Monasteries
Meteora
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Meteora is a complex of rocks a little farther Kalambaka town. It is the second monasteries’ complex in Greece after Mount Athos. Nowadays only the 6 of the 30 monasteries operate still and have been listed in the UNESCO’s world heritage monuments since 1988. The name Meteora was given after the leader of the monastery Great Meteoro (St Athanasios the Meteorite) who climbed up to the area’s highest rock in 1344. There are various claims on the exact date of the asceticism establishment here. It is supported to have started in the 11th century but according to other sources the pioneer was the hermit monk Varnavas who founded the Skete of the Holy Spirit in 950. Then the Cretan monk Andronicus created the Transfiguration (1020) and later the Skete of Stagi (1160). In the 1920s the old traditional way of reaching the monasteries with long ladders lashed together or large nets used to haul up both goods and people was abandoned. Steps were cut into the rock and tunnels were created, making the complex accessible from the nearby plateau.

Geography

The area’s unique morphology has become a study-item for various researchers, without any completely convincing result though. The most dominant interpretation of this phenomenon is by the German geologist Philippson since he explains in detail the pebbled nature of the rocks and agrees with the local tradition that Meteora was once a lake. According to this tradition a huge lake was extended on the regional unit of Thessaly but was pour into the sea when a strong earthquake tore in half the mountains and created a passage between Olympus and Kissavos Mountains. The rocks, which have been created at the bottom of the lake, suffered corrosion by the waters, the winds and the geological phenomena. As a result many other rocks in different shapes and sizes were created.

 

The Monasteries

The Holy Monastery of Sotiros (Great Meteoro)

It was established in the mid 14th century by St Athanasios the Meteorite, on the biggest rock (The Broad Rock). In the interior you will see wall paintings and the altar is decorated with wall paintings of the Macedonian School. The monastery’s facilities include a galley, a nursing home and a refectory. Manuscripts’ collections, icons and holy artifacts are on display.

Opening hours: 09:00 – 13:00 and 15:00 – 17:00 (in the winter), 09:00 – 13:00 and 15:20 – 18:00 (in the summer). The monastery is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Tel: +3(0)2432022278

The Holy Monastery of Varlaam

The monastery was established in the mid 14th century by the hermit monk Varlaam and is dedicated to St Pantes. The monastery includes the old refectory, a galley and a nursing home. Manuscripts’ collections and various holy artifacts are on display.

Opening hours: 09:00 – 13:00 and 15:00 – 17:00 (in the winter), 09:00 – 13:00 and 15:20 – 18:00 (in the summer). The monastery is closed on Thursdays and Fridays.

Tel: +3(0)2432022277

The Holy Monastery of St Stephanos

The monastery was created towards the end of the 14thy century. The current Katholicon was built in 1978 to honor the memory of St Haralambos whose Holy Head is kept inside the monastery. The Katholicon’s wall paintings are by Vlasis Tsotsonis. The old Refectory has been turned into a museum that hosts icons, manuscripts and Holy, Orthodox artifacts.

Opening hours: 09:00 – 13:00 and 15:00 – 17:00 (in the winter), 09:00 – 13:30 and 15:30 – 17:30 (in the summer). The monastery is closed on Mondays.

Tel: +3(0)2432022279

The Holy Monastery of Holy Trinity

(Longitude: 21° 38´ 09´´ latitude: 39° 42´ 48´´)

The monastery has been standing on one of the most imposing rocks since the mid 14th century. In the monastery you will see the impressive chapel of Timios John Prodromos curved in a rock. The manuscripts and the holy relics of the monastery are kept in the monastery of St Stephanos.

Opening hours: 09:00 – 12:30 and 15:00 – 17:00 (in the winter), 09:00 – 12:30 and 15:00 – 17:00 (in the summer). The monastery is closed on Thursdays.

Tel: +3(0)2432022220

The Holy Monastery of St Nikolaos Anapafsas

This monastery is the first on the way to the rocks of Meteora. It was established in the beginning of the 14th century. Its Katholicon is decorated with wall paintings of the great Greek hagiographer T. Strelitsas. The manuscripts and the sacristy are kept in St Stephanos monastery.

Opening hours: 09:00 – 12:30 and 15:20 – 17:00 (in the summer). The monastery is closed in the winter.

Tel: +3(0)2432022275

The Holy Monastery of Rousanos

The monastery of Rousanos dates to the 14th-15th centuries and took its today form in the 16th century. Originally it was a males’ monastery but now is exclusively a females’ one. The Katholicon of the church is dedicated to the Transfiguration of the Jesus. The monastery honors the grace of St Barbara on December 4th.

Opening hours: 09:00 – 13:00 and 15:00 – 17:00 (in the winter), 09:00– 17:45 (in the summer). The monastery is closed on Wednesdays.

Tel: +3(0)2432022649