The Meteora Rocks
The Meteora Monasteries and Nunneries, built on top of the rocks are the most important monastic complex in Greece second only to Saint Athos. The Meteora monuments are among the most important historic monuments of the world and belong to the UNESCO World heritage monuments.They are the most important monuments in the area of Thessalia (Central Greece) and the most distinguished monuments in Greece second only to Saint Athos.
The rough, once hardly accessible peaks of the imposing rocks were reached by the first hermits in the 11th century. The first monastic commune was set up by Saint Martyr Athanasios the Meteoritis in the 14th century on top of the Megalo Meteoro.
For more than 600 years there had been a flourishing community of 24 Monasteries and a number of individual “sketes” and hermitages. Initially monks used to asend the rocks using scaffoldings supported by beams embedded in the rocks and later nets and rope ladders were used.Nowadays there are only 4 Monasteries and 2 Nunneries.Monasteries:
- Of The Transfiguration of our Saviour
- the Holy Trinity
- The Agios Nikolaos Anapafsas( the one who Rests)
- The Varlaam
- Agios Stefanos (Saint Stephen)
- The Roussanou
The Monasteries and Nunneries are nowadays easily accessible through a well- maintained road network and staircases carved inside the rocks ensure a safe ascent to the top of the rocks. Visitors can get acquainted with the monks’ and the nuns’ everyday life, indulge in the overwhelmingly magnificent landscape, the Byzantine architecture and iconography and study invaluable religious manuscripts.
Kalambaka- a small town- and Kastraki- a small village are situated at the foot of the Meteora rocks: Picturesque and attractive with hospitable inhabitants, a rich cultural life and modern tourist infrastructure.