The floating monasteries of Meteora are called the eighth wonder of the world not only by the Greeks.
UNESCO has named these monasteries World Heritage.The name "Meteora" is derived from "meteorizo", meaning something like "floating in the air". This name describes the location of the monasteries, which were built on high cliffs, so that they sometimes seem to float, when there is mist.
Someone who sees this place for the first time thinks immediately of a geological wonder. Thousands of small and large rocks form a surreal landscape. On the top of large rocks courageous monks have built these monasteries at an altitude of 400 meters in their desire to be closer to God.
The very first recorded hermitages in Meteora have existed since the 11th Century, traditions tell of settlements even before the 10th Century. Over the years, these hermitages grew into an organized community modeled by the Holy Mount Athos and formed the monastery Doupiani.
With the arrival of the monk Athanasios of Athos, who fled in 1334, the rise of monastic life began in the region. Along with his spiritual mentor Gregory and 14 other monks he founded the monastery of Metamorphosis in 1344, also known as Megalo Meteoro. Athanasios set up the valid rules of monastic life in Meteora and was beatified after his death as Athanasios Meteorites.
During the 14th Century further monasteries were built and the religious facilities were supported financially and by the grant of privileges by local rulers such as King Simeon. Over the years, several monasteries and hermitages were created, whose founders have survived only partially by name.
The monasteries Metamorphosis, Varlaám, Rousánou, Agia Triada, Agios Stefanos and Agios Nikolaos Anapavsás are still inhabited and can also be visited. Each of the monasteries has a different day of rest, so all are never closed simultaneously.
Note the dress code for visitors. Shorts are taboo for men, while women are not tolerated in mini skirts and sleeveless tops.
Also, dresses and skirts are preferred on women rather then trousers.
Women wearing trousers are asked in some monasteries, to tie a wrap skirt that can be borrowed at the entrance.
The ascent to the uninhabited and dilapidated monastery ruins is difficult, often dangerous and not recommended.
Seek advice from our office. We will provide maps and directions so you can easily visit this unique destination Meteora.
If desired, you can also be driven to the heights of Meteora by modern buses with a tour guide in various languages.
The monasteries of Meteora, an absolutely unforgettable experience.
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