Metéora

Meteora, Greece, April 2003: Metéora, literally translates from Greek as “suspended in the air” or “in the heavens above” – it’s obvious as to why…  It is one of the largest and most important complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries in Greece, second only to Mount Athos.

met2

This was my first visit to this beautiful and surreal place, near the end of a hectic six week circuit around Greece and Turkey. I climbed and wandered around for hours exploring the area and visited a couple of the monasteries. The monasteries are built on natural sandstone rock pillars at the northwestern edge of the Plain of Thessaly, near the Pineios river and Pindus mountains in central Greece. They were originally created by hermetic monks seeking seclusion and protection.

met1

When Turkish raiders started invading Greece in the 14th century, the monks found the inaccessible rock pillars of Meteora to be an ideal refuge. Many of the pinnacles are well in excess of 300 meters high…

met8

The monastery of the Holy Trinity (above) was used as a location for the finale of the 1981 James Bond film, For Your Eyes Only.

met4

I visited this monastery, including the lift room where the monks and supplies were hauled up and down…

met6

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

met5

This required quite literally a leap of faith – the ropes were replaced, so the story goes, only “when the Lord let them break”.

met7

met12

Metéora is included on the UNESCO World Heritage list under criteria I, II, IV, V and VII.

met9c

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Metéora

  1. Again you have shown us part of the World that most of us New Zealander’s know little about. What wonderful Faith the Monks display.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s