The Meteora: Grand Meteora Monastery
The Great Meteoron Monastery is the biggest and oldest of all those in the area and probably the most visited. Usually by mid-morning during the summer months long lines of coaches, cars and camper vans fill the designated parking area with the overspill along the roadside verges. If you can`t avoid the crowds then the volume of people present can make a visit here less enjoyable than some of the others.
Above: This is a view of Varlaam Monastery with the Meteoron on the right. The latter monastery was named the monastery “suspended in the air” (meteoro), because of its dramatic situation on top of the gigantic rock formation on which it was built. The Great Meteoro Monastery was founded by Saint Hosios Athanasios who was born around 1302 in the medieval town of New Patras, today’s Hypati. His lay name was Andronikos.
The main cathedral in the central courtyard is embellished with 16th century Greek Byzantine frescoes. There is also a small museum which has historical codices and valuable religious icons on display. The old refectory once used by the monks contains a part of an original 16th century table with the original cutlery on it. Don’t forget to take a glance at the monastery’s old kitchen on your way out, still black with smoke, with the original bread oven and soup hearth.
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