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 cliff and, alone, upon the rock he built a monastery, of which he is now the namesake. He built three churches, a small cell and a water tank. After his death the precipice remained abandoned for about 200 years until it was reached in 1517/1518 by the two church fathers Theophanes and Nektarios Apsarades. The priest-monks were two, rich brothers from Ioannina, an area in the northwest of the Greek mainland. Varlaam’s crag was still abandoned when they began to erect the first buildings. They renovated the small church and built the tower around 1541/1542 as well as the central church of the monastery, the Catholic icon, dedicated to All Saints' Day. The procurement of the materials and, especially, transportation of them up the rock formation was a challenge and a brilliant achievement for the times. Transporting all the materials took 22 years, the construction of the church took only 20 days.
Today Varlamm is one of the larger monasteries in Meteora. Until the 16th century, the monastery was continually inhabited by monks. As of the early part of the 17th century, however, only a few monks remain.
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 a rare peace and seclusion in a dreamlike natural setting.
The interior 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 to Meteora? Discover a spiritual world above the clouds!
Please note that during your visit you must dress accordingly: arms and shoulders should be covered, men must wear long trousers and women long skirts. Each of the monasteries has a rest day on a different day, so they are never all open on the same day.
Summertime: daily from 9 am to 4 pm, closed every Friday
Wintertime: daily 9 am – 3 pm, closed every Thursday and Friday
Entrance fee: 3 euro/person