Meteora – Above the clouds

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A journey to Meteora is full of light and spirituality, a purifier air that touches your heart, mind and soul, leaving you an enlightening feeling of contentment and inner peace. The road to Meteora is an initiate journey of your own being, guided by a spiritual framework, extremely charming, which gives you a clear and extremely deep perspective own your life.

Meteora is in Greece, more exactly in the region of Thessalia, near Kalambaka city. Here are monasteries built in the fourteenth century by Orthodox monks, up on the rocks, the monasteries being the most famous places in Greece.

The rocks of Meteora, around of Kalambaka town, are strange formations of sandstone pillars, left behind by the Thessalia plain, 30 million years ago. The paths and stairs of the monasteries were built in the 1920s by order of the Bishop Trikala, to prepare his visit. Were previously used stairs and ropes to reach the Monastery. The rock above the Holy Trinity Monastery, with a height of several hundred meters, appeared in the film ‘’ For your eyes only’’, being escalated by James Bond. Of the 24 monastic communities, survived only 6 (4 for men and 2 for women); each is on a different rock.

The most known monastery is the Great Meteor Monastery, located on the highest cliff (613 m), with its priceless paintings from the fourteenth century, especially the one representing Christ Pantokrator, in the interior  dome. At the Great Meteor looks like the number one attraction is the ossuary, a room full of skulls. The smallest Monastery of Meteora is St. Nicholas Anapausas, whose frescoes are still admired by visitors.

The Monastery of St. Stephen is one of the two monasteries inhabited by nuns. The monastery can be reached by a bridge over a chasm and includes two churches. St. Stephen’s Church, decorated with sixteenth century frescoes illustrating scenes from the life of Christ, the Blessed Virgin and other Saints images. The other church built in eighteenth century, includes a beautifully carved iconostasis and a priceless relic – the skull of St. Haralambos.

The small monastery – Roussanou, called also St. Barbara, inhabited by nuns, occupies almost the entire surface of an inaccessible cliff wall. On the hermitage of St Varlaam is another monastery, famous for its school of copying manuscripts and embroidery workshop. Here it is exposed the Bible that once belonged to Emperor Constantine VII.

The route from Kalambaka to the monasteries is charming, you will see that in right and left sides appears high & wild cliffs, this natural phenomenon being among the most unique in the world. Meteora is considered a holy ground, a sacred place built and guarded by God, here it was sanctified every rock, every cave and every stone, being a place for prayers, of the believers.

The life in the monasteries of Meteora was not easy at all. Most foods were carried up to the cliff, using ropes or nets. It was very difficult to ensure regular drinking water. The only method was the collection of the rainwater and storing it in huge cisterns. Some can be seen today, for example at the Great Meteor Monastery and Varlaam Monastery.

Meteora Monasteries above the clouds are an emblem of Greece, representing a place of worship that exudes the diaphanous spirituality in a sacred and unique worldwide sanctuary.

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