Greek Language Blog

Meteora / Μετέωρα Posted by on May 5, 2012 in Uncategorized

Today I will take you to the region of Thessaly, specifically at Kalampaka, to meet Meteora (Καλαμπάκα). Meteora is a place with gigantic rocks raise where the plain of Thessaly (Θεσσαλία) ends. There is no reference neither in mythology nor in historical books concerning the generation of these huge rocks.

However, historians and geologists started searching for evidence that could explain this structure about 1000 years ago.

As it is expected, there are many theories and stories behind this spectacular scene.

According to tradition, in the old days in the geographical region of Thessaly was a vast lake. A great earthquake tore the mountains into two pieces and a passage between Olympus (Όλυμπος) and Kissavos (Κίσσαβος) formed. This passage leads to Tempe vale (Τέμπη). The water from the lake ran through the passage and poured into the sea. This is how the Thessaly formed to a plain area.

The prevailing theory is that one of the German geologist Philipson in the 19th Century. The theory states that the rocks of Meteora were created by a large mass of river stones, sand and mud that came together to form a cone.

When later, the water from the lake of Thessaly poured into the Aegean, this single volume divided because of the corrosive action of water, strong winds, rains and seismic vibrations, forming hills and rocks in various shapes and sizes. The number of the rocks is above thousand. The solidification of river stones and sand to solid rock was result of the dissolution of the limestone and the thousand years of pressure which have been applied to lower fossils from the highest ones.

The first hermits arrived in these untrodden peaks around 1100 AD .They climbed the rocks and they nested like birds in the caves and the hollows of the rocks. There, isolated, where seeking with prayers and fasts mental completeness and redemption.

In the 14th century Saint Athanasios (Αθανάσιος), formed the first organized monastic community with regulations according to the typical organized monasteries of Mount Athos (Άγιο Όρος). Athanasios has given the name of the area as Meteora which means breath taking. Since then,Monks and Nuns came and settled to these Sacred Rocks .

From 1350AD to 1500AD, 24 monasteries where created, but over the centuries most of the monasteries were deserted and only few of them exist today. In the early 18th century starts the decline of monasticism. As a result, both the number of monasteries and the monks shrink and only few of them remained to ensure their survival.

The Holy Meteora is recognized and protected as a listed monument of humanity by UNESCO and other international organizations. In 1995 it was declared a sacred, immutable and inviolable site.

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  1. gonesimera:

    Fascinating, ευχαριστω.