Meteora Monasteries: Captivating UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Greece by Fiona Whiley
The Meteora are rock formations formed as a result of the erosion of wind and rain over time, creating separate pillars of various height and width. Amazingly, around the 14th Century, monasteries started to be built at the very top of the rock pillars, access being gained only by removable ladders and winch systems used to haul up baskets and nets – for goods and people!
In 1988, Meteora was recognized for its outstanding value as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Today, six of these monasteries remain and are open to the public for viewing. Fortunately for us, stairs were carved into the rocks in the 1920s, allowing easier access for visitors, with the entry points for each of the monasteries a short drive from the town of Kalambaka.
Appearing to cling to the tops of the rock pillars, and visually fascinating, you wonder how the monks ever managed to create these beautiful sanctuaries. Inside you will find small museums, chapels open for visiting, beautiful frescoes, illuminated manuscripts, early printed books, gorgeous gardens, magnificent views and daunting entrance platforms showing the perilous access method previously used by the occupants and visitors.
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