SPECIALS/EVENTS IN THE AEGEAN SEA
GREAT METEORON MONASTERY (METEORA)
The Great Meteoron – The oldest and largest floating monastery of Meteora. A true cultural highlight during your visit of the unique region of Meteora!
The oldest and largest floating monastery of Meteora: the Great Meteoron Monastery
The Meteora Monasteries east of the Pindos Mountains are located near the city of Kalambaka in Thessaly and are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The unique location of the monasteries, which were built on high sandstone rocks and seem to float on foggy days, is already fascinating. One of the 24 monasteries, of which only six still exist today (two for nuns, four for monks), is the Great Meteoron Monastery.
Like a medieval skyscraper, it towers on a sandstone column 613 m above sea level and is the oldest of all the monasteries built there. Founded in 1344 by Athanasios, it is with 60.000 m2 the largest monastery of Meteora. The rock got its name Metéoro from Athanasios, which means 'high up'.
Athanasios was the founder of the monastery, he also laid down the rules for monastic life, which all monks followed from then on. For this reason, the foundation of this monastery is considered a turning point, from which the derivation of the term Metamórphosis (transformation) comes.
Until 1923 the monastery could only be reached by rope ladders or a winch with a net. Today a stone staircase with 143 steps and a tunnel leads into the building complex. You will be rewarded with fabulous views for the staircase ascent.
But also the interior of the monastery holds true treasures of the medieval times: in the main church in the central inner courtyard magnificent frescoes from 1552 are preserved. Also worth seeing is the hermit cave of Athanasius at the entrance of the monastery. You should catch a glimpse of the old refectory of the monks, where a table from the 16th century is preserved, partly with the original tableware. Equally interesting are the many religious golden wood carvings and a visit to the old kitchen, whose walls are still blackened with soot. You can even admire the original bread oven in this room. A journey back in time to the 14th century.
It all started here in Megalo Meteoro. A complex of Greek Orthodox monasteries was gradually built around the complex, making Meteora an important spiritual center worldwide to this day.
Please note that during a visit you must dress accordingly: arms and shoulders covered, men must wear long trousers and women even long skirts. Each of the monasteries has a rest day on a different day, so never all are open at the same time.
Summer time: daily from 9 am to 5 pm, every Tuesday closed
Winter time: daily 9 am – 3 pm, every Tuesday and Wednesday closed
Entrance fee: 3 euro/person