Meteora – above the sky

Meteora is the eighth wonder of the world, which has brought to the world the result of the work of man and nature itself. There is no doubt that the steep cliffs, looking up into the sky amaze the imagination, but it seems to be that this was not enough. On the tops of these rocks, as if they were their continuation, the Orthodox monasteries were built.

The history of the creation of monasteries goes back centuries and it takes a lot of effort to answer the question: when did the first monks appear here? It is interesting that, despite the millennial existence of these rocks that once decorated the seabed, there were no references about them neither in mythology nor in the real historical sources. It is known that the first hermit, who founded the Skete of the Holy Spirit, appeared in the 10th century; several decades later it was followed by other sketes.

The first monastery was built in the middle of the 14th century by St. Athanasius and was dedicated to the Transfiguration of the Lord. Over the next two centuries, 24 monasteries were built. The Meteora monasteries have been named by UNESCO the World Heritage Sites, while the local church has proclaimed these places holy.

During the time of the Ottoman Empire, many temples and monasteries in Greece were affected, and Meteora had not escaped this fate. The monastery of St. Dimitrios was destroyed by the army of Ali Pasha, as the priests took an active part in the people's resistance and insurgent movement of the Greeks. 

During the Second World War and the Italian-German occupation, the dome of the St. Stephen's Monastery was destroyed, as well as the faces of the saints on beautiful frescoes.

Those who travel to Greece have a unique opportunity to get in touch with the thousand-year history of this unique monastic complex and admire the legendary rocks. n