A place built on the rock pillars, as if they are suspended in the middle of the sky, built by monks (hundreds of years back) taking you closer to heaven, is Meteora situated in Greece. Meteora is a place where one can enjoy the scenic beauty (from height above), feel relaxed and enjoy adventures here such as climbing, trekking etc.
Meteora literally means “suspended in the air”, “middle of the sky” or “in the heavens above”. It is located in Greece, a southern Europe country. Athens is the capital of Greece. Meteora is easily accessible from all places especially Athens, as Meteora is a very popular destination. Meteora is located in Thessaly (Central Greece) and the nearest town is Kalampaka.
Meteora owns its popularity not only to scenic beauty, awesome view of nature from heights above and a place to practice adventure sports but also to the religious importance of the place. It was the religious importance of the place which was the first reason to attract lots of visitors here.
The place holds religious importance not only due to monasteries but the fact that these monasteries are built on the top of pillars (or mountains), as they take the onlooker by surprise, astonishment and admiration for the one who built it. Though the scenic beauty of the place is attributed to nature, monasteries on the top of it are efforts of the monks who lived centuries ago. They built them when no such technological advancements were there, when no other means would have helped them except for their strength, efforts and will. The place also becomes a source of inspiration for many as to see that nothing is impossible. The monasteries draw an utmost respect for its creation.
Formation of sandstone rock pillars is of huge interest to all geologists owing to the place being unique in the world. Many theories have been there for the formation of this place but the theory that is mostly accepted is the one given by German Geologist Philipson, who visited the Greece and propounded his theory. It is said that there existed a lake in the place of Meteora. The lake existed for many years and depositions took place. Then, due to some geological disturbance(earthquake) the rocks started getting formed. Therefore after millions of years being subjected to various nature’s phenomena, the rocks took the present shape.
History-Religious importance of Meteora
It is said that during some odd century monks started inhabiting this place to avoid distraction and to avoid Turkish invasions. Thus the monks started living on these rocky cliffs (conglomerates) and started building monasteries. Though many monasteries were built, the six monasteries are quite famous.
The six monasteries are famous and usually tour guides and plans provide a tour to all of them. They are St. Nikolaos Anapafasa Monastery, St. Stephen’s Monastery, Varlaam Monastery, Roussanou Monaster, Holy Trinity Monastery and Great Meteoron Monastery. Varlaam Monastery has a rich collection of artifacts and sacred things. Great Meteoron Monastery is the oldest monastery and built on widest of rocks, in 14th century. Holy Trinity Monastery is the one which is most difficult to reach due to its location.
The place in listed in UNESCO world heritage sites due to its being one of the kind in the world and nature at its best. Here, one may also find variety of flora and fauna as of nature being natural. Sunset tours are also famous in the place owing to the captivating view sunset provides from the tops. This is quite famous among tourists and is a must visit for everyone there especially during sunset.
Adventure at Meteora
The place along with its religious importance is also famous for its challenge to adventure sports lover. From mountain biking to trekking to climbing, this place has the option and architecture for all. A sports person can indulge in new challenges and can uplift their levels. All the sport enthusiasts love to flock this place for its typical and adventurous environment.
Nearby cities to visit
Along with visiting these places, nearby cities are also an interesting place to visit. Kalampaka Town, Kastraki Village and Trikala are such places. They also offer a variety of tourist spots. Kalampaka town is the nearest town to Meteora. Kalampaka (prestigious castle) has got a rich history and is home to quite a few old churches. The other two towns also boast of rich culture and history of Greece.
If one is visiting Greece, then Meteora is a must place to visit. The towns help visitors to experience the history, culture and heritage of the place.
A visit to Meteora will leave you with immense pleasure from sightseeing, admiration for nature and monks, and satisfaction and spirits to your sporty nature. In fact visit to this place is almost recommended by everyone who are frequent travelers and who love to travel a lot. A perfect place built by nature through its forces (for years and years to count on) to look at awe inspiring nature, being in a different world altogether is a must experience for one and all.