Holy Monastery of Rousanou, Meteora, Greece

Meteora in Greek means suspended in air and true to its meaning each monastery there looks suspended in air. As if the pointed peaks weren’t enough they even have functional monasteries on top of the peaks! During Ottoman rule, monks, hermits, fled the villages in the plains and sought refuge in these mountain peaks. The cavities, fissures and peaks of Meteora rocks, provided protection from the oppressors. There are just 6 functional monasteries today out of the 24 that existed centuries back. During winters only 5 are open to tourists.

We had one whole day to do the 5 monasteries, just enough time and we didn’t wish to rush. The Holy Monastery of Rousanou is lower in elevation compared to all others and in my opinion most beautifully located. Our first halt was at this monastery. The Holy Monastery of Rousanou was founded in 1545 by Joasaph and Maximos, two brothers from Epirus who built it on the ruins of an even older church. Until 1897 the ascent to the monastery was with the help of ladders made with ropes. Later two wooden bridges were made for easy access which was in use till 1936 when two strong bridges were constructed and these connected the peaks. During the WWII it was damaged by warring opponents of Greece. Since 1988, this monastery is run by the residing nuns here.

When we stood at the base of this mountain, I wondered how one can reach the top! I imagined it to be some steep climb. The steps leading to the monastery is well hidden and up up we climbed till we reached some kind of platform on top of a peak. This peak top is connected to the nunnery’s peak with a small bridge. Once inside I was in a different world! Very peaceful and calm, actually those are mild words to describe the interiors! Photography inside is a strict NO.

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Nuns reside here.

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SkyWatch Friday

St. Stephen’s Monastery, Meteora, Greece
Photo Essay on Meteora Rocks, Greece

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