Where is Meteora?
Meteora is in Greece. This is the one place which is breathtaking, inspiring, and impressive all at the same time. It really is a phenomenon because it combines the beauty of nature and unbelievable architecture.
Meteora has exceptional rock formations near the town of Kalambaka in the interior of Greece. There are towering, natural pinnacles of over 1200 feet high. On top of some of these rock formations stand fortresses that were built over 2000 years ago but only a handful of them remain occupied to this day. The monasteries have become a part of the World Heritage list of UNESCO.
It must have been so difficult to build on top of these cliffs, but consider the determination to live in isolation. The caves in the cliffs and the fortresses were protection for religious priests, monks and the general population against the Turkish attacks on Greece, Meteora was bombed during World War II.
At first there were reportedly 24 monasteries, but now only six remain, one of them is a Nunnery. Each monastery houses about 10 people. Access to the monasteries is still very difficult; ropes and baskets were used to transport food and people to and from the fortresses. The monasteries did not have any electricity or water and the monks depended on provisions from the people living below.
The name Meteora means "lofty", "elevated" which is related to the word meteor. One monastery can be accessed by a road that winds up the cliffs from Kalambaka. Buses regularly transport pilgrims and tourists to the top and they are guided over a bridge to the monastery itself. Before being allowed in, every woman must wear a scarf of their heads and something that resembles a skirt, even if it is just another scarf or a sweater tied around the waist. Men are not restricted in what they wear. Tourists are shown throughout the fortress and may enter the chapel to pray.