The Meteora monasteries are perched upon the summits of some precipitous and
isolated rocky pinnacles, which rise above the almost flat valley of the Pinios
river, 9 km beyond Kalambaka, where visitors can find accommodation. The
monastic history of Meteora goes back to the 11th century AD, when the monks
constructed inaccessible eagle's nests in the crannies of these rocks. The
first monasteries were not built until the 14th century A.D., but it was not
until the 16th century A.D. that most of monasteries were constructed along with
the renovations made to the older ones. It is said that over 20 monasteries were
inhabited. Today only four are occupied, these are Megalo Meteoro, Moni Varlaam,
Moni Agias Triadas and Moni Agiou Stefanou.
It is built on the tallest and largest rock in the district called "Platylithos"
and known thereafter as "Meteoro" and is the most imposing of all the
Meteora monasteries. It was built by, Saint Athanasios Meteoritis in the 14th
century. One must climb 250m from the parking lot to the front gate.
It is also called Moni Agion Panton. In 1350, Varlaam was the first monk that
came here, founded the chapel dedicated to the Three Hierarchs. The present
monastery was found in 1518 and then was that two more churches were added. One
dedicated to All the Saints and the second to St. John the Baptist.
Moni Agias Triadas
This monastery is dedicated to the Holy Trinity, was founded by the monk
Dometios. It stands on a rock of about 100 m high and one has to climb 140 steps
carved into the rock to gain access to it.
Moni Agiou Stefanou
In the 15th century AD Antonios Katakouzinos, son of the Despot of Epirus,
founded the monastery of Agios Stefanos. It was separated from the rest of the
mountain by a ravine, straddled now by an 8 meter long bridge.
The small town of Kalambaka is built at the foot of the majestic gray rocks, at
the point where river Pinios leaves the Pindos Mountain. In Kalambaka visit the
cathedral church of the Dormition of the Virgin built on the first half of the
12th century, the chapel of All Saints with its 18th century wall paintings and
the church of Agios Ioannis Prodromos.