Meteora Monasteries - A visit to a Holy Land
Located in Central Greece, near the town of Kalampaka, Meteora Monasteries are included on the UNESCO World Heritage list. The thing that makes Meteora so special is that the monasteries are on the top of rock towers. This masterpiece of nature reveals all its glory for centuries as a unique geological phenomenon in beauty and an important monument of Orthodoxy.
Meteora designated as the second Mount Athos continue the monastic tradition for nearly Six Centuries. From the early Christian times, the Meteora vertical cliffs were regarded as the perfect place to achieve absolute isolation to discover peace and harmony and thus to support man's eternal struggle for spiritual elevation.
The first monasteries were built with great care and craftmanship in the 14th Century. As years went by and being under several difficulties of the times such as several conquerors of the aera, thieve's raids and other factors, many of the flourishing Holy monasteries were driven to abandonment and destruction (the period of decline after the 17th Century). Over the years, some of them, were reconstruced and other suffered major repairs to be completed and thereby provide the final architectural shape.
Since 1920, a time of prosperity has began again, because carved ladders and bridges are constructed on the rocks. Thus, more pilgrims arrive, since the old climbing way (net-basket), which was an everyday challenge with death belonged to the past. In 1948 a tarred road was constructed and the ''Abaton'' (the forbidden place) for the woman was abolished in 1921, Queen Marie of Romania visited Meteora, becoming the first woman ever allowed to enter the Great Meteoron monastery.
At present there are Six active, flourishing, restored monasteries and convents, which welcome each visitor hospitably to their lofty realms. These are Agios Nikolaos Anapafsa, Metamorphosis of Sotiros or Megalou Meteorou, Varlaam, Roussanos, Agia Triada and Agios Stephanos. Since then standing up in the tops of the rocks giving the impression that they are their natural finish. Today, fans of the sport come to Meteora from all over the world to pit themselves against these gigantic rocks. The Greek state calls it a Sacred spot, inviolate and immutable.
You will no doubt come up with other adjectives to describe Meteora, this wonder of the world.