Tuesday, October 03, 2023

Greece 2023: The Great Meteora

You may remember from the posting from the town of Kalambaka, we could see a monastery from our hotel:

Up a winding road, we arrived at it:

The region of Meteora, which had provided a refuge for ascetics and hermits, became a sort of gathering place for monks as the hills allowed them to seek solitude.  In the 14th Century the Great Meteora Monastery was founded.  At one time up to 24 monasteries existed in this area; only six remain currently.

Originally access to the monasteries was done via rope ladders or baskets with rope; fortunately for modern day visitors stairs have been built.

This is the sort of cave a monk might have dwelled in:

A note on the monastery, if you blow it up:

This is the back side of the main sanctuary.  Pictures are not allowed; I wish I could have taken one for you.  This was an Orthodox sanctuary in all of its 14th Century glory with six centuries of use.

Looking out over the Meteora:

These stairs have been here for hundreds of years, worn down by the feet of pilgrims and monks:

The next three pictures were a more recent addition to the monastery; it pictures Christ as the center of human thought and knowledge.  To His left and write are Greek writers, philosophers, and historians:

Looking down towards Kalambaka:


  1. Nylon122:39 AM

    Fascinating photos TB, there were some talented artisans back in the 1300's. The tourist chatter from the video is sure different than what the original inhabitants sought eh TB?

    1. Nylon12, just in general the level of artistry supporting traditional Orthodox worship is amazing and (frankly) embarrassing to the modern Church. We, for the most part, no longer create things of beauty like this.

      One does indeed wonder how the monks keep their focus in the midst of this. I am sure the evenings and morning are far more serene.

  2. What a charming place. It looks like it's been permeated with centuries of prayer.

    1. Leigh, it has been continually dwelt in since the 13th Century. It is hard to realize what it might be like without the hordes of tourists (including myself) that came through, but in the sanctuary one could get a hint of the grandeur of what Orthodox worship must have been like in the days of the Byzantines.

  3. I guess I disagree. We do create buildings of beauty. The Sydney Opera House comes to mind. What we don't create anymore are works of beauty that will remain behind for 100+ years. That is very unfortunate and a colossal waste of resources.

    1. Ed - I should have been more clear; I meant we (The Church) do not create things of beauty anymore (although to be completely honest, I am probably one of five people alive that is sort of "meh" about the Sydney Opera House). I would 100% agree we are not building anything that we intend to last though.


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