Holy Meteora

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April 4th 2005
Published: June 7th 2005
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Holy Monastery of Saint Nicholas Anapafsas - I think - please correct if I'm wrong!
Looking over the plains of Thessaly in the centre of Greece is an area of amazing rock formations, made yet still more impressive by the addition of monasteries perched on the top of some of the 400m columns of rock. Meteora so good Linkin Park named an album after it. Geologically the place was formed by the movement upwards of a ancient sea bed or river delta, then subsequent earth quakes and erosion. Though originally founded before the Ottoman empire reached the region, during the height of the occupation monks came to the remote monasteries to be able to practice their religion.

The impression on the traveller is amazement - "how did people back in the 1400's get to the top of these towers of rock to build these monasteries?" and awe - "wow - this is one of the most amazing places I've been!" and on the photographer in me - "I'm so glad I have two 1 GB memory cards!"

Most of the monasteries are open to the public, charge a nominal 2 euro entry fee, but require respectable dress, ladies, long skirts and gentlemen, long trousers. Inside a glimpse of monastery life is felt - particularly
Meteora RocksMeteora RocksMeteora Rocks

These rocks seperate the plain on which the towns of Kalambaka and Kastraki - old story of ancient sea bed squeezed up over millions of years, erroded over more time and shaped into these wonderful pinicles, some 400m high.
if you get there early, even in early April coach parties were being shipped in. Photographers - I found the air much clearer in the early part of the day - towards midday it started to get quite hazy. Monks work in the museums, and on the entrance but during the visiting hours seem to hide themselves away - probably in quiet contemplation.

Opening hours for the monasteries are 9-5, 6 days a week on a rotation, so whichever day you go along you'll be able to visit a few. We visited 2, the Grand Meteoron, and the Holy Trinity, the largest and the most isolated feeling. The Grand Meteoron was much the larger, had a muesum, chapel, courtyard, kitchens, and wood workshop to look around. Well I'll leave you with a few of my selected photos! I hope to work on a few for my gallery soon...

This was day 4 of our cheap rental car tour of Northern Greece - I'll add in the previous days soon!

Additional photos below
Photos: 14, Displayed: 14


Holy MeteoraHoly Meteora
Holy Meteora

The Holy Monastery of Varlaam
Holy Monastery of Grand MeteoronHoly Monastery of Grand Meteoron
Holy Monastery of Grand Meteoron

The largest of the monasteries on the highest and largest point. Founded in around 1340 by St. Athanasios of Meteora (1302-1380) - the monks have kept good records, it is possible to see the origanal deeds of this monastery on display in the muesuem.
Respectful Dress Required.Respectful Dress Required.
Respectful Dress Required.

To visit the monasteries, there is a dress code, no halter tops (vests), no shorts. Men - long trousers, women - long skirts. Luckily the monasteries provide these rather fetching numbers in case you forget...

Living on the top of a very high rock results in a few pracical problems. One being where to bury the dead. The solution is to store the skeletons of previous inhabitants in a cupboard.
Monk's KitchenMonk's Kitchen
Monk's Kitchen

Used up until recently, somewhere hidden away from the tourists is a nice new kitchen complete with microwaves and fridge freezers.
Another View of Monasteries on RocksAnother View of Monasteries on Rocks
Another View of Monasteries on Rocks

It was such an amazing place, I hope these photos give a feel of how it was, beautiful and stunning.

The town below the rock perching monasteries has grown to a population of 7,000 - mostly people involved in the hotel and tourist trade by the feel of it, must be a very crowded spot in the summer months.
How to get supplies to your rock monasteryHow to get supplies to your rock monastery
How to get supplies to your rock monastery

The old way, a net, a long rope and a lot of effort. Nowadays they have mini-cable cars.

18th November 2005

amazing place
I've been there and would recommend it to everybody. Unbelieveable place.
8th January 2011

I hope to vist in the spring of 2012. My friends said it was worth the trip to Greece alone.
8th January 2011
Holy Meteora

Excellent photo
This is my destation spot.

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