I am occasionally spellbound by man’s will. His sheer determination. Bewildered and even confused. How did man accomplish this? Moments of wonderment come to mind when I think of Petra in Jordan, the Taj Mahal in India, the temples of Bagan in Burma, or the Tiger’s Nest Monastery in Bhutan.
I had a similar sense of awe during a recent visit in Meteora, Greece. Meteora which translates roughly to “suspended in air” or “in the heavens above” can be found in central Greece, four and half hours away by car from Athens. Six Greek Orthodox monasteries stand sentry on towering, sandstone pillars.
Byzantine hermits discovered and began to populate these caves during the 11th century. The current monasteries were constructed during the 14th and 15th centuries. At its height, 24 monasteries flourished during the 17th century, only six survive today. Four of them remain active today with monastic communities.
These monasteries hover and balance on the stone towers at minimum heights of 1000 feet. The first hermits scaled sheer walls to isolate themselves in dank caves. Over time religious structures were built, from a simple wooden hut to the magnificent monasteries that can be seen today. Today, access is simple. In the 1960s, roads were carved into the mountains, staircases brought you the final distance.
But how were these built centuries ago without roads for access or modern technology? Through grit and resolve these monks persevered to create these majestic structures. A series of ladders, ropes & pulleys, and baskets reluctantly conveyed supplies and tools to these perilous peaks. These monasteries range in height from 1000 to 1800 feet. The compensation for the monks was blessed isolation and protection from the invading Turks.
A visit to Greece is not complete without gazing at these UNESCO sites. You will be amply rewarded. So after you visit the Acropolis and the beaches of Santorini, head to the central Greece to view the monasteries of Meteora.
Disclaimer: The trip was provided gratis by Visit Greece, local restaurants, and hotels.
And here is the roadtrip in Greece I took.
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Beautiful photos! So inspiring for me to work on my photo skills.
Thanks! It is a beautiful area. Was traveling with some inspiring people.
A very good article about a beautiful and unique place in the world. The Photos is also amazing! Thank you.
Thank you! I hope to go back soon and spend more time in Meteora. Beautiful place.
Meteora is a breathtaking sight that is not as well known as it should. I may be biased, since I come from the area, but I think it trully could become a world famous monument of nature and human, God inspired, determination.
It is one of the top places I have visited. So I totally agree.
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Great article and amazing photos of Meteora monasteries!! Greetings from http://www.enjoythessaly.com
Thank you! It is an amazing place to visit!!
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