Meteora is located in the heart of Greece, 320 km from Athens in the region of Thessaly. Currently, only six monasteries are still inhabited by monks or nuns. The Monastery of St. Nicholas, St. Stephen, the Monastery of the Holy Trinity, the Monastery of the Transfiguration, the Rousanou and Varlaam . Its spectacular location, coupled with religious treasures, frescoes, icons and old manuscripts in their libraries led UNESCO to declare it a World Heritage Site as the whole monastery of Meteora.
The view from Meteora
Meteora Monastery Greece
The Monastery of St. Nicholas is the first found in the journey from Kastraki Meteora. It was decorated by the Cretan painter Strelitzas or Bathas Theophanis in 1527. The Monastery of St. Stephen is the Katholikon which honors St. Charalambos and was built in 1798. The old refectory is used as a museum. The Monastery of the Holy Trinity is the one the visitor has to cross the valley and climb to the top of the rock to reach. It was built approximately on 1475. The small skeuophylakeion was added to the church in 1684.
Monastery on top of Meteora
The Monastery of the Transfiguration also known as the Great Meteor is the largest of the monasteries. The Katholikon church is dedicated to the Transfiguration was erected in the mid fourteenth century and decorated between 1483 and 1552. The old monastery is used as a museum. Opening hours are 9.00 to 13.00 and 15.00 to 17.00 for winter and 9.00 to 13.00 and 15.20 to 18.00 for summer. It is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
The Rousanou Monastery is also dedicated to the Transfiguration but pays homage to Santa Barbara. It was founded in the mid sixteenth century and decorated in 1560. The opening hours are 9.00 to 13.00 and 15.00 to 17.00 for winter and 9.00to 17.50 for summer. This one is closed on Wednesday. The Varlaam Monastery was built for St. Varlaam and is the second largest after the Great Meteoro. The church pays homage to the three Bishops. It was built around 1541 and decorated in 1548.
Meteora photos: Kiril Keranski, Dan Chiriac.