Visit the Meteora in Greece. Visit the monasteries of meteora in Greece. The site of meteora in Greece is beautifully weird. Go and visit this unique place in the world.
1. The Holy moanstery of Great Meteora is the biggest and oldest of all the remaining six monasteries of the Meteora. At an altitude of 600m, it was founded in the 14th century by St Athanasios, a monk from Mount Athos. He built a church dedicated to the Transfiguration of Christ (1387-88) and added buildings as monks cells, a hospital and a cistern for water. The church was repaired and enlarged after an earthquake in 1544. You can see the Katholikon of the church with its frescoes, the nave and the narthex, the impressive refectory, a beautiful museum with crosses, icons and precious religious manuscript, the kitchen as it was, the wine cellar and the famous sacristy with skulls and bones.
2. The Holy Monastery of Vaarlam is a beautiful monastery of the 16th-century with really nice frescoes. After the death of monk Vaarlam, the site was abandoned for 200 years. In 1517, two rich monk, Theophanos and Nektarios from Ioannina built a large monastery. They renovated Varlaam’s church of the Three Hierarchs, built a tower and a katholikon dedicated to All Saints. Using ropes, pulleys and baskets, it took 42 years to finish the construction of the monastery. Varlaam Monastery is accessible by a bridge from the main road. There is a really nice garden. The frescoes in the main church were painted by the celebrated iconographer Frangos Katelano. The church was renovated and decorated in the 17th cent. with frescoes. You can see the tower with the ropes for baskets, the refectory renovated into a museum of religous artifacts, the museum with relics, crosses, icons and many other treasures.
3. The Holy Monastery of Saint Stephen had monastic life from the 12th century. Church was rebuilt into a Katholikon in 1545 with nice frescoes . It is today easy to visit and it is a nunnery from 1961. The monastery was founded in the 1400 cent by Antoninos Kantacuzinos, son of the Serb ruler Nicephorus II of Epirus. The monastery was destroyed in the early 20th cent (bombs of WW II and damages from the civil wars). St Stephen was rebuilt in 1798 and is dedicated to St Haralambos. You can see the refectory of the 15th century, the museum with monastic objects and clothes.
4. The Monastery of the Holy Trinity. The monastery of the Holy Trinity (Agia Triada in Greek) is more difficult to access. You will have to walk and since 1925, there are 140 steps of stairs before entering the monastery. Since 1970, the monks constructed a cable ! (see photo below on the right). The monastery is located northwest of the monastery of St Stephen. The monks climbed on the rock through scales and the basket-net. A certain monk named Dometios allowed the construction of the first church on the rock at the beginning of the 13th century The Katholikon was constructed in the 15th sc (with 70 years of construction!). The monastery has 2 churches: the Katholikon with a magnificent iconostasis and the small church of St-Jean-Baptiste with magnificent frescoes from the 17th century The refectory, the reception room, cells and water tanks are still found. Unfortunately, the sacristy and the library have been burned during the 2nd World War. 26 icons that were saved are currently at the Varlaam monastery and the monastery of Aghia Triada was rehabilitated in 1972.
5. The Holy Monastery of Saint Nicholas Anapavsas Asmenos (or Anapavsa monastery, photo below). It is not far away from the hotel after Kastraki at the end of the only paved road. At the left of rock Doupiani It lies on a rock of 85 m high. All around, you will find the ruins of other monasteries. This monastery was built in the 14th century and access is possible only by stairs. This monastery has 3 floors: the first shows the chapel of St Antoine and a crypt with ancient relics ; The second shows the heart of the monastery where is honored St Nicolas (the dome has not any window) ; the third includes the large table, the ossuary, the cells of the monks and the chapel of St John the Baptist. The monastery hasn’t got any court. It has been renovated in the 16th century: the Hagiographer of the Cretan school Théophanis Strelitsa-Batha has left us the most beautiful paintings of Meteora, to my opinion, making the monastery a gem with this oppressive nobility, flexibility and freshness in all these colors.
6. The Holy Monastery of Rousanou (Arsani). It lies southeast of the Great Meteor between Varlaam and St Trinity. You climb the stairs and pass by 2 small bridges. The first ascetic who would be mounted on the rock would have been Roussanou to the 13th sc. In 1550, Joseph and Maxime built the Katholiko on the ruins of a small church. It is cruciform with high high dome. It is decorated with fabulous frescoes of the 16th sc with Cretan influence. It has a beautiful iconostasis of carved wood, gilded with beautiful icons. Today, it is a women monastery.
Go and visit the Meteora in central Greece.
To be followed…