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Great Meteoron monastery - Holy Monastery of Varlaam - Agios Stefanos monastery

Price: 80.00 EUR
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Countries: Greece
Route: Thessaloniki - Great Meteoron monastery - Holy Monastery of Varlaam - Agios Stefanos monastery - Thessaloniki
Duration: 11 h
Discover the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Meteora on a full-day trip from Thessaloniki. During our tour you will visit to 3 of the 6 holy monasteries and get panoramic views of the giant rocks. Our firs stop will be at Great Meteoron monastery. Definitely the biggest and one of the most impressive monasteries in Meteora is the Holy Monastery of Transfiguration of Jesus, best known as Great Meteoron. The monastery was constructed on top of the biggest rock named accordingly “Platis lithos” or “Wide Rock”, having a total area of more than 50 acres and height reaching more than 613m above sea level. The first to climb “Platis Lithos” was the monk Athanasios, a prominent ascetic figure of the Meteora’s early hermitic community who later became a Saint of the Greek Orthodox church. He was to be followed by other 14 monks and in 1340 AD they manage to built Theomitoros (God’s Mother) church, thus organized into the very first systematic monastic community in Meteora. Our next stop will be at Holy Monastery of Varlaam which is the second biggest monastery. It is located opposite of the Great Meteoron Monastery and it was founded in the mid 14th century by the exercitant Hosios Varlaam. The elegant monastery Catholicon was built in the honour of Agioi Pantes in 1541-42, by two brothers from Ioannina, the priest-monks Hosioi Theophanes and Nectarios the Apsarades. The main church was decorated in 1548. Based on stylistic criteria, this magnificent wall-painting is attributed to the famous hagiographer from Thebes, Frago Catelano. This is the monastery where you can visit the tower of the old preserved net, used by the first monks for their ascent and descent from the rock, until it was “God’s will to have it replaced”! Our last stop will be at women's Monastery of Agios Stefanos. This 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. The beginning of monastic life on the rock of Agios Stephanos dates back to early in the 12th century. Hosios Antonios, in the first half of the 15th century, and Hosios Philotheos, who renovated or rather rebuilt from its foundations the old small and elegant Catholicon, the present church of Agios Stephanos, in 1545 are mentioned as its founders. St. Stephen’s Monastery includes two cathedrals; the old 16th century chapel which was severely damaged during WWII and the consequent Greek Civil War, and the 18th century main cathedral that is dedicated to Saint Charalambos and includes his holy relics.  After we will back to Thessaloniki.
Price: per person
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Gulca, 12.11.2022
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Countries: Greece

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