Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Monasteries of the Meteora

Executive summary by darmansjah

The Metéora  "middle of the sky", "suspended in the air" or "in the heavens above" — etymologically related to "Meteorite") is one of the largest and most important complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries in Greece, second only to Mount Athos. The six monasteries are built on natural sandstone rock pillars, at the northwestern edge of the Plain of Thessaly near the Pineios river and Pindus Mountains, in central Greece. The nearest town is Kalambaka. The Metéora is included on the UNESCO World Heritage List under criteria] I, II, IV, V and VII

The Holy Monastery of Great Meteoron - This is the largest of the monasteries located at Metéora. It was erected in the mid-14th century and was the subject of restoration and embellishment projects in 1483 and 1552. The building serves as the main museum for tourists. The Katholikon (main church), consecrated in honour of the Transfiguration of Jesus was erected in the middle of 14th century and 1387/88 and decorated in 1483 and 1552.

The Holy Monastery of Varlaam – The Holy Monastery of Varlaam is the second largest monastery in the Metéora complex. It was built in 1541 and embellished in 1548. A church, dedicated to All Saints, is in the Athonite type (cross-in-square with dome and choirs), with spacious exonarthex (lite) is surrounded by a dome. It was built in 1541/42 and decorated in 1548, while the exonarthex was decorated in 1566. The old refectory is used as a museum while north of the church is the parekklesion of the Three Bishops, built in 1627 and decorated in 1637.

The Holy Monastery of Rousanou/St. Barbara was founded in the middle of 16th century and decorated in 1560.

The Holy Monastery of St. Nicholas Anapausas, built in the 16th century, is a small church. It was decorated by the Cretan painter Theophanis Strelitzas, in 1527.

The Holy Monastery of St. Stephen is a small church built in the 16th century and decorated in 1545. This monastery rests on the plain rather than on a cliff. It was damaged by the Nazis during World War II who believed it was harboring insurgents and was abandoned. Nuns took it over and reconstructed it.

The Monastery of the Holy Trinity is on top of the cliffs. It was built in 1475 and was remodeled many times in 1684, 1689, 1692, 1741.

The Varlaam monastery on its rock pedestal.

The monastery Agiou Stephanou (Saint Stephen's) is inhabited by nuns only.

The Rousanou, the Nikolaos and the Grand Meteora monasteries.

The Grand Meteoro monastery.

The Holy Monastery of St. Nicholas Anapausas

Panorama of the Meteora valley

Panoramic view at Meteora valley

Panoramic view at monastery Roussanou

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