The Monastery of Agios Nikolaos Anapafsas
The Holy Monastery of Saint Nicholas of Anapafsas or Agios Nikolaos is the first active Monastery we encounter on our way to Meteora and was founded at the end of the 14th century.
For the name Anapafsas there are numerous interpretations two of which are the most popular. The first one is that the name Anapafsas was attributed by one of the monastery’s benefactors, while the second explanation has to do with the monastery’s position being the first on the way and probably served to the pilgrims as a resting place before continuing on. Resting translates into Greek anapafsis, so Saint Nicholas of Anapafsas literally means Saint Nicholas the one who rests you.
The limited surface of the rock forced the builders of the monastery to built it vertically on floors, one level on top of the other! Access to all the different floors is achieved through an inbuilt staircase. At the entrance of the Monastery lies the Church of St. Anthony and the crypt where the codes and the monastery’s heirlooms were previously stored. On the walls, paintings of the 14th Century can be seen.
The Catholicon, where St. Nicholas is honored, is on the second floor and it is elongated and stuck on to the south side of the wall of the monastery. The dome of the church is low and has no windows. The Holy Table rests on the third floor, decorated with murals. The Table, recently restored, is used as a reception area for the visitors. There is even the ossuary, the cells of the monks and the chapel of St. John Prodromos. Since space is restricted and there is no courtyard, the monks could only gather in the narthex, which was roomy, when there were no liturgies in the nave.
Visiting Hours: 09:00 to 17:00.
The monastery stays closed on Fridays.
Visiting Hours: 09:00 to 17:00, Sundays: 09:30 to 16:00.
The monastery is open every day.
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The Holy Monastery of Great Meteoro is the biggest and oldest one of all. It was called the monastery that was “suspended in the air” (meteoro), because of the formation of the gigantic rock on top of which it was built.
The Holy Monastery of Varlaam is the second biggest monastery. It is located opposite of the Great Meteoro Monastery and it was founded in the mid 14th century by the exercitant Hosios Varlaam.
The Holy Monastery of Roussanou has received the name of the first probable hermit who settled on the rock. The main cathedral was founded at the end of the 16th century and was decorated thirty years later.
his is the most accessible monastery, where instead of steps you simply cross a small bridge to reach the entrance. It is ideal for visitors who cannot use the steps and yet they wish to have a real experience of a Meteora monastery.
Holy Trinity Monastery
The Monastery of Holy Trinity (Agia Triada) is the most difficult to reach, but once you get to the very top the panoramic view of the surroundings is simply captivating!
This monastery is the first to be encountered on the way up and probably served to the pilgrims and other visitors as a resting place before continuing on.