Meteoras Monasteries

Kalampaka Travel Blog

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The word Meteora means literally 'hovering in the air' and of course brings to mind the word meteor. What created this rare geological phenomenon is one of the mysteries of nature and there are many theories though they remain theories and none have been proven. But as amazing a marvel of nature as these giant rocks are the buildings on the top of these are a marvel of man and seem just as miraculous. The area was originally settled by monks who lived in caves within the rocks during the 11th Century. But as the times became more unsure during an age of Turkish occupation, brigandry and lawlessness, they climbed higher and higher up the rock face until they were living on the inaccessable peaks where they were able to build by bringing material and people up with ladders and baskets and build the first monasteries.
This was also how the monasteries were reached until the nineteen twenties and now there are roads, pathways and steps to the top. There are still examples of these baskets which are used for bringing up provisions.
During the Turkish occupation it was the monasteries which kept alive the Hellenic culture and traditions and were not only relgious centers but academic and artistic as well. It is believed that were it not for the monasteries, Hellenic culture would have disappeared and modern Greece would be a reflection of the Ottoman empire with little knowledge of its roots and history. The monasteries attracted not only the deeply religious, but the philosophers, poets, painters and the deep thinkers of Greece. Today only six of the monasteries are active.

lauro says:
i was here.....
Posted on: Nov 15, 2007
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photo by: tm16dana