Meteora Monasteries

The Holy Monasteries of Meteora

The area of Meteora and the Monasteries of Meteora are among the most important monuments in the world, protected by UNESCO, and definitely one of the most significant sites in Greece.

Meteora is probably the most renowned Monastery Center in Greece after Mount Athos. It is a complex of imposing rocks in the heart of Greece, close to Kalambaka.

The first hermits and monks came on the unreachable peaks of the suspended rocks in the 11th century and later formed the Skete of Doupiani. During the 14th century Saint Athanasios the Meteorite formed the first organized monastic community in the Monastery of the Great Meteoro. Twenty-four monasteries, numerous cells, and hermitages scattered in the area, flourished in the rocks of Meteora for over 600 years.

Today, the intact and functioning monasteries are just six: the Great Meteoro, the monastery of Barlaam, Holy Trinity, St. Stephen, St. Nicholas Rousanou and Anapafsas.

Everyday countless visitors flock from all over the world for meditation and prayer. They come to see the life of the monks, admire the breathtaking landscape, the artistic style and architecture, the iconography and study the priceless relics.

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The Holy Monastery of the Transfiguration of Jesus the Great Meteoro
The Holy Monastery of Great Meteoro

Monastery of the Great Meteoro

The biggest rock houses the Monastery of Great Meteoro (Holy Monastery of the Transfiguration of Christ), which was founded approximately in 1340 by St. Athanasius the Meteorite.

Visitors to the monastery can admire the Tower whose balcony overlooks the cellar (today it is a folklore museum with old tools and utensils), the ossuary in the church. There are numerous significant frescoes at the catholic sanctum, deriving from the famous Macedonian School. The frescoes in the main church are created by Georgie, an artist who was a student of the famous artist Theofanous the Cretan.

At the monastery, visitors can also see are the chapels of Virgin Mary of the Meteorite Stone, the chapel of the Holy Baptist, of the Apostles Constantine and Helen and of Saint Nektarios, which is more modern compared to the others.

In the monastery there are manuscripts which stand out due to their great historic and artistic value, as well as patriarchal signed documents and papers, precious historical artifacts and rare antiques (15th-19th century), Byzantine icons (14th and 15th centuries), and wood carvings, embroidered with gold and silver.

Monastery of St. Stefanos

Saint Antonios and Philotheos are honored as founders of the Monastery of St Stefanos.

The solemn little church of St. Stephen, which is a basilica, was built in 1350. In 1545 the chapel was renovated and expanded by the hand of priest Nicholas. The present church of St Charalambous (1798), is of Athonite type, adorned with magnificent wood carvings.

monastery of varlaam in meteora
Monastery of Varlaam

Monastery of Varlaam

During the tradition it was first inhabited by hermit-anchorite Varlaam in the 14th century. The ones, who founded it in 1518 when they settled there, were the Saints Theofanis and Nektarios, the fishermen who came from Giannena.

The catholic of the Monastery of Varlaam is called the All Saints catholic, and was built in 1542.

The main temple was ornamented with admirable frescoes in 1548 by the Theban painter Franco Katelano and stands out due to the main features and characteristics of iconography: the narrative details and the analysis of historical events with a rather impressive realism.

Holy Trinity Monastery

At a characteristic rock of the Meteora complex, which is both majestic and imposing nestles the Monastery of the Holy Trinity.

According to the tradition, it was built in 1438 by the monk Domitius. However, there are documents from the Prince Simeon Uros Palaiologos, which show that the monastery had already been organized earlier in 1362 .

The present nave was built around 1476 and is a small cruciform church with a two-columned central dome on the roof. Today’s temple wall paintings (1741) are the work of the priests Antonios and Nicholaos, who though younger, successfully continued the tradition of the famous post Byzantine style of painting

Monastery of Rousanou

The Holy Monastery of Rousanou was founded in 1529, over the ruins of older buildings, by the monks Ioasaf and Maximos, who came from Ioannina.

The monastery of Rousanou is an impressive 4 story complex that reached its main form during the 3rd decade of the 16th century. The Church of the Transfiguration was built from scratch in its present form from the extinct and destroyed by the ravages and neglect of time Old Catholic monastery onto 1530 AD.

Monastery of Agios Nikolaos Anapafsas

The Monastery of St. Nicholaos Anapafsas is located close to Kastraki village. The rock is imposing, elegant and cramped, but it is definitely eye catching.

The monastery was renovated in the early 16th century.  The second floor is occupied by the church of the monastery which was painted by the renowned Cretan painter Theophanes Strelitzas, who was the founder of the Byzantine Cretan School of hagiography.

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TELEPHONE NUMBERS OF THE HOLY MONASTERIES OF METEOZRA
Megalo Meteoro +30 2432-022278
Varlaam +30 2432-022277
St. Stephanos +30 2432-022279
St. Nikolaos Anapafsa +30 2432-022375
St. Triada +30 2432-022220
Rousanou +30 2432-02264

OPENING HOURS OF THE HOLY MONASTERIES OF METEORA
WINTER SUMMER CLOSED
Megalo Meteoro 9.00-13.00 &15.00-17.00 9.00-13.00 &15.20-18.00 Tuesday
(W-S)Wednsday (W)
Varlaam 9.00-13.00 &15.00-17.00 9.00-13.00 &15.20-18.00 Thursday (W)Friday (W-S)
St. Stephanos 9.00-13.00 &15.00-17.00 9.00-13.00 &15.20-18.00 Monday
(W-S)
St. Nikolaos
Anapafsa
Closed 9.00-18.00
St. Triada 9.00-12.30 &15.00-17.00 9.00-12.30 &15.20-17.00 Thursday (W-S)
Rousanou 9.00-13.00 &15.00-17.00 9.00-17.45 Wednsday (W)

Visit the Monasteries of Meteora with our Meteora Tours