Located in the prefecture of Thessaly in Central Greece, Meteora is widely considered one of the most extraordinary sights of Greece. Included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites, Meteora (literally meanining "suspended in the air") is an impressive complex of huge dark stone pillars hosting a large complex of byzantine monasteries. According to scientists, these rocks were formed 60 millions years ago due to earthquakes and weathering while the hilltop monasteries were built by hermit monks who were seeking to be closer to God, in harmony and peace. When the Turks conquered Greece, many monks escaped persecution by climbing the mountains to safety.
Originally there were 24 monasteries but nowadays only the following 6 remain operative with a handful of monks each: The highest, largest and oldest Great Meteoron Monastery, Varlaam Monastery- the second biggest one the dramatically situated Holy Trinity Monastery, the Monastery of St. Nicholas Anapausas with its renowned frescoes, the 16th century Roussanou Monastery, named after the first probable hermit who settled on the rock and finally the most accessible monastery of St. Stephen’s. Meteora has been attracting pilgrims and travellers from all over the world and it is one of the popular attractions of Greece all around the year.
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