Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Travel Photo Thursday

I'm posting over at The Budget Travelers' Sandbox.

November 2010 - Meteora Greece

Meteora is an area in Thessaly (Central Greece) and Kalampaka is the city under the rock towers of Meteora. Meteora is known for the monasteries built on the top of the rock towers.




 If you didn't have a skirt (I bought one the night before) then they provide wraparounds.




 The Metéora (GreekΜετέωρα, "suspended rocks", "suspended in the air" or "in the heavens above") is one of the largest and most important complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries in Greece, second only to Mount Athos. The six monasteries are built on natural sandstone rock pillars, at the northwestern edge of the Plain of Thessaly near thePineios river and Pindus Mountains, in central Greece. The nearest town is Kalambaka. The Metéora is included on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

You can see the roof of a monastery BELOW us in the background.







Access to the monasteries was originally (and deliberately) difficult, requiring either long ladders lashed together or large nets used to haul up both goods and people. This required quite a leap of faith – the ropes were replaced, so the story goes, only "when the Lord let them break". In the words of UNESCO, "The net in which intrepid pilgrims were hoisted up vertically alongside the 373 metres (1,224 ft) cliff where the Varlaam monastery dominates the valley symbolizes the fragility of a traditional way of life that is threatened with extinction." In the 1920s there was an improvement in the arrangements. Steps were cut into the rock, making the complex accessible via a bridge from the nearby plateau. During World War II the site was bombed and many art treasures were stolen.




 Only six of the monasteries remain today. Of these six, five are inhabited by men, one by women. Each monastery has fewer than 10 inhabitants. The monasteries are now tourist attractions.


















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6 comments:

  1. Very nice photo from famous Meteora.

    Regards and best wishes

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  2. Thank you for sharing, both the photos and the cultural information.

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  3. Gorgeous! I can't imagine being hoisted up in a net. Thanks for joining Travel Photo Thursday this week!

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  4. Fabulous tale and fabulous photos - loved it all!

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  5. I am curious. Do you know why they insist on a skirt and a pair of trousers is not enough?

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  6. After looking at your first few photos, I began wondering how exactly people got up there. I'd much prefer the current method of steps over being hauled up in a net. It looks like such and interesting place to visit, but I definitely couldn't be one of its inhabitants.

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