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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-04-03

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Easter on the rock towers of Meteora

  • [01] Easter on the rock towers of Meteora

    The visitors of the rock towers of Meteora (meaning: "suspended in the air") in central Greece live a unique Easter experience as the region combines natural beauty, spirituality and rich local tradition.

    At a close distance from the city of Kalabaka, Meteora is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List and is home to one of the largest and most important complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries in the country, second only to Mount Athos in the northern prefecture of Halkidiki. The monasteries are built on natural sandstone rock pillars, at the northwestern edge of the Plain of Thessaly near the Peneios River and Pindus Mountains.

    Although it is unknown when the monasteries of Meteora were established, historians maintain that it was as early as the 11th century AD when hermit monks started living in caves and cutouts in the rocks. By the late 11th or early 12th century a rudimentary monastic state had formed called the Skete of Stagoi, centered around the church of Theotokos (mother of God), which still stands.

    Access to the monasteries was originally extremely difficult, requiring either long ladders lashed together or large nets used to haul up both goods and people.

    The Orthodox tradition in Meteora is continued by six monasteries - Great Meteoron, Varlaam, Rousanou, St. Nicholas Anapausas, St. Stephen and Holy Trinity - without an interruption for over 600 years following a period of decline in the 17th century AD.


    Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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