SPECIALS/EVENTS IN THE AEGEAN SEA
VARLAAM MONASTERY (METEORA)
The Varlaam Monastery at Meteora – A time travel above the clouds in the footsteps of the hermit Varlaam! Enjoy a visit of one of the largest monasteries of Meteora and the best views of the entire region!
The story of a hermit: The Varlaam Monastery
In 1350 a daring ascetic named Varlaam climbed a rock and built a monastery there alone, which was named after him. He built three churches, a small cell and a water tank. After his death the rock remained abandoned for about 200 years until in 1517/1518 the two church fathers Theophanes and Nektarios Apsarades reached the rock.
The two priest-monks were two rich brothers from Ioannina, a place in the northwest of the Greek mainland. The rock of Varlaam was still abandoned when they began to erect the first buildings on it. They renovated one of the small churches and built the tower around 1541/1542 as well as the central church of the monastery, dedicated to All Saints. The procurement of the materials and especially their transport high on the rock was a challenge and a brilliant achievement in those days: while the transport of the materials took 22 years, the church was built in only 20 days.
Today Varlamm is one of the larger monasteries in Meteora. Until the 16th century, monks lived here constantly. From the early part of the 17th century, however, only a few monks remained.
What makes this monastery so special? Not only does it tell an exciting story "of one who set out to search the vastness", but it also offers the best view of the entire Meteora region. Here you will encounter an almost rare peace and seclusion in a dreamlike natural setting.
The interior also offers further treasures: The old refectory has been converted into a museum where visitors can admire outstanding icons, mostly from the Renaissance period, and the precious sacred robes of the priests.
Are you ready to travel back in time? Discover a spiritual world above the clouds in Meteora!
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 4 pm, every Friday closed
Winter time: daily 9 am – 3 pm, every Thursday and Friday closed
Entrance fee: 3 euro/person