Above the town of Kalambaka, northeast of Thessaly, rock formations are over 400 feet straight out of a science fiction movie. Balanced on the Monasteries 24 pillars are visible through the clouds.
Many geologists and historians have tried to unravel how these stone pedestals were created 60 million years ago, but no theory has been proven. Today, this region is considered historical patrimony by UNESCO, called Meteora, which means “suspended in the air.”
The first people to reach Meteora did in the ninth century. At first climbed the rock formations with their hands clinging to the branches of trees. Thus, early settlers were isolated, gathering only to worship. For a long time the only way things go up and down through the basket was tied to a rope. As time went on people formed small communities that focused on the construction of several monasteries in the fourteenth century served as a refuge from the invading Turks.
Located five hours from Athens, the road is full of steep and windy roads. Upon reaching the top, you will see the landscape at its best. Six of the monasteries are still open to the public, and is a worthwhile trip just for the scenery.
The Monastery of Great Meteoron is the largest and oldest. Inside you will see frescoes depicting the life of Christ. The building has a functional kitchen and a charnel house where the remains of deceased monks.
Varlaam Monastery is the second largest. Took twenty years to build, as they climbed the materials. Rousanou monastery is the third largest. Founded in 1545, was damaged by the Germans in World War II, but was subsequently restored. Other important monasteries are San Stephanos and of the Holy Trinity.