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The Metéora (Greek: Μετέωρα, “suspended rocks”, “suspended in the air” or “in the heavens above” – etymologically similar to “Meteorite”) is one of the largest and most important complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries in Greece, second only to Mount Athos. The six monasteries are built on natural sandstone rock pillars, at the northwestern edge of the Plain of Thessaly near the Pineios river and Pindus Mountains, in central Greece. The nearest town is Kalambaka. The Metéora is included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Access to the monasteries was originally (and deliberately) difficult, requiring either long ladders lashed together or large nets used to haul up both goods and people. This required quite a leap of faith – the ropes were replaced, so the story goes, only “when the Lord let them break”.
The Holy Monastery of St. Stephen is a small church built in the 16th century and decorated in 1545. This monastery rests on the plain rather than on a cliff. It was damaged by the Nazis during World War II who believed it was harboring insurgents and was abandoned. Nuns took it over and reconstructed it.
Holy Monastery of St. Stephen, Meteora, Greece, Europe
Nikon D700, Nikkor 24-85 mm at 34 mm, 1/800 sec at f/ 5.6, ISO 320
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