Sunday, April 19, 2009

Suspended in the air

Of course my camera has to run out of battery just as we reach one of the most beautiful places in Northern Greece - so the photos published here are from Shannon's camera.  Meteora, meaning 'suspended in the air', is a nest of Greek Orthodox monasteries perched somewhat precariously on rocky sandstone pillars overlooking the town of Kalambaka.  (Cute fact: Meteora was featured in "For your eyes only" the 1981 James Bond film). 

 "In the old days monks and pilgrims reached the monastery with the help of a rope-ladder and the traditional net. In 1925, when Nicandros Stathopoulos was the abbot of the monastery, 140 steps were hewed on the rock and they lead the visitors to the monastery after they have passed a narrow path at the bottom of the rock. Nowadays, there is also a funicular for carrying products and materials." (exerpt from here)

The katholikon of the Holy Trinity monastery took my breath away.  The frescoes were painted by a master painter (also a monk).  Sadly we couldn't take photos within this space.  But, God, it was beautiful.  There were 3 museum rooms dedicated to clothing, old manuscripts and eccleastical art and ornaments - the intricate wooden crosses and painted doors were very special to me and I'll have to find out more...

See these photos big by clicking on them to get a sense of the building's relationship to the stone. 

Women had to wear skirts for modesty, hence the similar looking sarongs in the picture above. 

The town below. 

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