MONASTERY OF GRAND METEORON:
On the highest and largest in area rock of Meteora stands the monastery
for men of Grand Meteoron which was built around 1340 by St. Athanasios
of Meteora - a great personality in monastic life, who organized
the first coenobium at Meteora. The visitor to the monastery can
enjoy: The Tower (1520), which has the dominating feature of the
balcony with the net, the Cellar (today a folk museum showing old
tools and implements), the dinning room(1557,
today a museum of relics of the Monastery), the Kitchen (1557, today
a museum exhibiting old copper, earthen and wooden utensils). There
still exist, through not shown to the Public, the Hospital with
care for the aged ( 1572, today under reconstruction and refitting)
and the chapels of Theometoros ( Our Lady of Meteoritissas Petras,
14th century), John the Baptist( early 17th century), Sts Constantine
and Helena (1789) and St. Nektarios. The Monastery is the guardian
of manuscript codes of great artistic value such as gold-seals,
patriarchal vestments and other manuscripts, valuable historic documents,
rare old scripts (14th and 15th cent.), old hand made artistry such
as wood carvings, gold-embroidery, silver etc.
OF VARLAAM: Impressive, but much smaller
in area, very near the great Platylithos, stands the rock of the
monastery for men of Varlaam, which according to tradition was first
occupied by the ascetic Varlaam in the 14 century.
It was founded in 1517/18, when the brothers Theophanes (1544) and
Nektarios (1550) the Apsarades from Ioannina settled there. The
majestic Catholicon of the monastery is of the type as found on
Mt Athos and is dedicated to all Saints, built in 1542. The main
Church was painted in 1548 by the Theban painter Frangos Catelanos
and it has all the characteristics attributed to his work descriptive
detail and analysis of historic events with vivid realism. The Narthex
was painted in 1566 by the look-alike brothers and Theban painters
George and Frankos Contares.
At the end of
16 century, the most well organized bibliographical
workshop was functioning, best amongst all others at
Meteora, plus a workshop foe gold embroidery.
MONASTERY OF HOLY TRINITY:
On a characteristically meteoric rock stands proud and
grad, as if a nest, the superb Monastery for men of
Holy Trinity. It is said, that it was built in 1438
by monk Dometios. The main Church was built around 1476
and is a two-pillar crossed temple roofed by a central
dome. The present wall paintings of the church (1741)
is the work of the brothers and painters abbe Anthony
and Nicolaos which although more modern it continues
successfully the tradition of good post- Byzantine school
Inside the church is featured
Christ Pantokrator and in the spherical triangles the four Evangelists.
the old wood carved templum renowned for its old and art's-sake
icons was stolen in 1979. The large dome covered inner narthex was
constructed in 1689 and was painted in 1692. The chapel of St. John
the Baptist- a small circular temple with dome is carved into the
rock- presents many worthwhile icons and was fashioned into the
rock in 1862 and painted at the same time. The remainder of the
buildings comprise the Dinning-room, the cells, reception rooms,
water cisterns and other useful areas.
MONASTERY OF SAINT STEPHEN:
With a panoramic view across the vast plain of Thessaly and above
Kalambaka balances harmoniously the easiest to to get to meteoric
Nunnery of St. Stephen's. The small chapel of St. Stephen was built
in 1350, in 1545 it was extended and its wall painting were
partly renovated by abbe and painter Nicolaos. The present Church
of St, Charalambos (1798) is one of the mt. Athos type and decorated
with majestic wood carvings. In 1943 the Church was bombed and recently
renovated and its still being painting by the well known hagiographer
Mr. Vlasis Tsotsones. The holy Scull of St. Charalambos is
kept at the Monastery. The sizeable Dining room has been converted
into a modern Museum. The Monastery has distinguished itself for
considerable help toward the National struggles (it has been the
Headquarters of the Command during the Macedonian campaign) through
education and culture.
|MONASTERY OF ROUSSANOU
(ST. BARBARA): A crown
on top of a steep slim rock in the centre of Meteora
this nunnery of Roussanou converses its entire mountain.
It was established in 1529 by the monks and brothers
St. Iosal and Maximus from Ioannina. It is a beautiful
construction, which took the basic form during the 16th
century. The Catholicon and cells are on the ground
floor whereas on higher floors there is the main lounge
for visitors, reception rooms, as well as other areas
for daily use. The Church of Transfiguration of the
Lord was built in 1530 and is of the mt. Athos type.
Its agiography (1560) is one of the most important and
brilliant of the post-Byzantine period.
|MONASTERY OF SAINT
NICHOLAS ANAPAFSAS: Near
the village of Kastraki and amongst the ruins of the
monasteries of St John the Baptist, Christ Pantokrator-
stands the multi storey Monastery of St. Anapafsas,
elegant yet on rather restrictive rock, impressive
nonetheless . Organized monastic life on
the monastery started on 14th century At the start of
16th cent. the Monastery was renovated extensively and
the Church of St. Nicolaos was built.
On the second storey stands the
Catholicon of the monastery ( a tiny singular Church,
almost a square, with a small dome in the centre of
the roof) which was painted in 1527 by the famous painter
Theophanes Strelitza, otherwise known as Bathas and
founder of The Cretan School in Byzantine agiography.
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