A Miracle in Clouds – Meteora Monasteries of Greece

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Meteora Monasteries. Greece.

Every country has its own explicitly revered holy shrines.

For example, in orthodox Russia it is the Nilov Monastery on the Lake Seliger. The ringing of its bells seems to float, keeping the nearby source of the Volga and spate over the whole Seliger.

Nilov monastery. Seliger. Russia.

Nilov monastery. Seliger Lake. Russia.

And in orthodox Greece this shrine are certainly Meteora Monasteries, fascinating with its unique location at the tops of high rocks.

Meteora Monasteries. Greece.

Once I accidentally saw a picture in Internet and wondered: what is it and where is it? And answers resulted in big tour around Greece. :-)

The Greek Orthodox monasteries were the cause, the prerequisite and the ultimate goal of the whole route. I must say, be running ahead of the story, that the Meteora Monasteries still did not unclosed to us all its beauty. Somebody the almighty from above just cracked the curtain a bit…

Meteora Monasteries. Greece.

We moved from Delphi, appeared in a fascinated-mystic look in front of our eyes. The weather kept worsening. It seemed that rains of the whole world were going to run over the Thessalian plain in order to fulfill the stony bottom of the formerly existent prehistoric sea again.

Winter in Greece.

The darkness came down early and when we entered the plain we did not notice the stony column-hills, arising above the plain, flat as a table. We spend the night in Kalambaka.

Kalambaka city perched itself at the foot of Meteora, its houses are gradually getting higher from the plain, and the last of them are located right under the cliffs.

The darkness was breaking away and suddenly from our hotel window opened a view of the dark cliffs – Meteora.

The rock towers of Meteora in Greece.

The rock towers of Meteora in Greece.

The weather was still bad, and thought the rain stopped, the plain was covered with a heavy fog. But no doubts we must to see Meteora! :-) We started to climb the cliffs.

Monks-hermits from olden times settled at these cliffs, escaping the vanities of the world. The monasteries started to appear there around the X century and permanently exist before now.

Inside of one of the the Meteora monasteries. Greece.

Once Orthodox Meteora monasteries were at the same level with Holy Mountain Athos in order of importance in the orthodox world, especially in the time of the Othman domination in Greece, when the inaccessibility of these rocks provide a proper protection and the chance to the monks to keep own way of life.

The Metеora.

Nowadays six active Orthodox monasteries overtop the Thessalian plain at the six hundred meters height, they are located at the tops of the grandiose cliffs, which were called Meteora after the Greek word μετέωρα — «levitating».

Every single turn provides amazing views through the fog! But today I’d prefer to follow the road and each forthcoming turn, disappearing in the clouds. Finally we stopped at the highest cliff, where Great Meteoron Monastery is located on.

Orthodox monastery Meteora in Greece.

We climbed down to the platform with a small chapel and started a long rise along the steep stairs, hitched in the line of the rocks. Someday long-long time ago people and provision were elevated here with the help of baskets and nettings. Thank God this habit was not adopted as a touristic attraction – there would be only a few people brave enough to get at the top. :-)

See the grid at the top? And here is the lifting device; it seems, all in a completely operational condition.

The lifting device in Meteora monastery. Greece.

The cliffs are equipped with the different built-in constructions at the different levels: stores with domestic utensils, small chapels, an icon-painting workshop, inner gardens, a spacious refectory, a winery…

The patio of monastery in Meteora. Greece.

The patio of monastery in Meteora.

Meteora Monasteries. Greece.

The kitchen of monastery. Meteora. Greece.

The kitchen of monastery.

The winery of monastery. Meteora. Greece.

Having a look into one of the windows, we noticed shelves with the neatly stacked skulls of the departed monks. They spent their lives here in the clouds and stayed at this very place forever, instead of being buried below the ground.

Meteora Monasteries. Greece.

The last refuge of the monks of Meteora.

The last refuge of the monks of Meteora.

At the very top is The Holy Monastery of the Transfiguration of Jesus with the ancient frescos and miracle-working icon of the Mother of God. Photos are forbidden, but I broke the ban only once.

The ancient frescosof the Holy Monastery of the Transfiguration of Jesus. Meteora. Greece

Wonderful patios are all over the place – greenery is everywhere regardless of January. And here is the viewing platform – can’t see a yard in front!!! :-)

The Metеora.

Orthodox monastery in Greece.

The rock towers of Meteora in Greece is a unique place. Frankly speaking, I think that there are only a few places on the whole earth more adorable than this.

More about Greece:
My 300 Spartans History
Athens Archaeological Museum: Pearl Among Havos

39 Responses to “A Miracle in Clouds – Meteora Monasteries of Greece”

  1. lifeisacelebration Says:

    Still in my list of favorites. Visited Meteora in 1996, again in 2009. Like you, I was fascinated!

  2. mariekim000 Says:

    Wonderful photos! Just curious, what camera do you use? Also, don’t worry about “no-photo” bans; rules are made to be broken! ;)

  3. wordsfromanneli Says:

    I think the mist over the monastery is what makes the whole photo so beautiful. The stone “ladder/stairs” for hauling provisions (and people?) up and down must be a fairly standard thing. I saw that on a monastery in Mont St. Michel too.
    Great photos. Even if the weather didn’t co-operate, it looks like it was a very interesting trip.

  4. sheof108names Says:

    Thanks for sharing this Victor – I had never heard of the Meteora Monasteries. Beautiful.

  5. gracewithfire Says:

    Reblogged this on Jeanette C. Patindol and commented:
    Another one for the Bucket List!

  6. maya Says:

    Thanks for sharing this…Definitely your post has made Greece more desirable to visit !

  7. Garden Walk Garden Talk Says:

    That first image is like a dream. Beautiful.

  8. Andrew Petcher Says:

    Thanks Victor for adding a location to my ‘must visit’ list!

  9. tossingfeathers Says:

    This is incredible! Must not leave out Greece in my next trip.

  10. Sanjana Says:

    Wow! I’ve had a friend of mine click pics of the skulls in the monastery, so I’ve seen that, but these pictures are something else! Awesome! I want to go to Greece now! :D

  11. Shelley Says:

    Your photos are breathtaking. They are beautifully composed, sharp and perfectly exposed. I am your fan!

  12. nkimagecollection Says:

    Thanks for visiting my blog. Your pictures are beautiful :)

  13. innamazing Says:

    Ahh I want to visit this place so bad!! My grandfather visited it not too long ago… and was stunned! Such beautiful nature mixed with history.

  14. visitmeteora Says:

    Great photos! Just the perfect view to wake up every day!
    Cheers from visitmeteora.travel!

  15. Adrey Says:

    Wonderful pictures! I’ve been once in this area and it is stunning place I like it so much!

  16. Angela Highzone Says:

    Your photos are so beautiful…it reminded me once again about my trip there several years ago with my husband. It was the month of April and it was warm and sunny! The ride on the net was scary but a great experience and worth it when you are up on the cliff as the views are spectacular! I bought some religious relics painted gold and so unique and Greek.

  17. Adam P. Says:

    Perfect marriage of nature and manmade beauty..Yapapanti Monastery was my favorite, surprisingly. It doesn´t sit atop rock fomations, it rather lappears to be clinging to the side of one of them. It´s no longer active, but still..the sight of it is unforgettable, somehow.

  18. Meteora Says:

    I have been to Meteora, quite a few times. This article perfectly describes the spirit and the mood of this holy place. The photos are great too! Taken with small, amateur cameras? Well, you dont seem to need bigger ones. Amazing! Thanks Victor!

  19. Enjoythessaly Says:

    Hello Victor! Great winter photos of Meteora! Cheers from enjoythessaly.com


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