Almost 60 million years ago Meteora was on the prehistoric sea bottom. Over time, the water receded and under the influence of winds and temperature changes, the huge rocks were formed into towering stone pillars. "Meteora" means "floating in the air !"
Cut off from the surrounding world, these rocks have become the best place to live for holy people who want privacy from the madding crowd.
The first hermits settled there in the 9th century. They lived in caves and rock cavities, spending their days in prayer and worship. Communication with the world,was via nets and ropes, which allowed them to get down to the ground and the climb takes about half an hour.
The quiet time was over for them in the 13th century when in 1334 the monk Athanasius arrived in Meteora, to start the titanic work on construction of the first stone monastery.
Due to the natural security and height of the cliffs, monks were spared from invasion, robbers and thieves. In the following centuries on these rocks 24 monasteries.were built.
Nowadays active monastic life still continues in Meteora but they are open to both believers and to many tourists.
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