Columns Of The Sky

Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp,
 or what’s a heaven for?
~ Robert Browning

Perched precariously atop the pinnacles of steep sandstone cliffs, resembling lofty aeries of some giant predatory birds, the monasteries of Meteora beggar belief! Built in the 14th century to escape persecution by the invading Ottomans, with no access save baskets and ladders pulled up with the help of manual pulleys, these amazing spiritual retreats bear testament to the indomitable human spirit. Of the 24 monasteries only six remain and have significantly better access today than that used by those intrepid monks.

Despite vehicular access and bridges there is still a considerable climb involved. Agia Triada or the Monastery of the Holy Trinity is the hardest to get to involving rock tunnels and a climb of nearly 140 steps. Not surprisingly this was the dramatic setting for the closing scenes of the Bond movie “For Your Eyes Only”. We only had time for the Great Meteoron Monastery (below)

Visitors are also expected to follow a strict dress code: All shoulders must be covered, men must wear long trousers and women, long skirts. Skirts and scarves may be borrowed from the offices up front. Photography of the gilded icons inside was sadly forbidden.

This gallery of scanned images of the breathtaking, magical monasteries whose name translates from the Greek to “in the heaven above” is my interpretation of Jakes Sunday post – From a Distance

Until next time……..happy travels, no matter where life takes you.

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Madhu is an Interior designer turned travel blogger on a long sabbatical to explore the world. When not crafting stories on The Urge To Wander, she's probably Tweeting @theurgetowander or sharing special moments on

126 thoughts on “Columns Of The Sky

  1. Madhu, ah, majestic Meteora. The highlight of our time there was hiking to a few of the monasteries. Approaching them on foot put their grand scale (and construction feat) in perspective.

  2. These photos are incredible. The story behind them is so interesting. I felt like I just
    sat through a short lection and was left with a want to know more. I went to a private school that was in a monastery. It was not high in the hills. This is a place I would love to see. It looks like it requires a bit of good physical health and stamina. I will just have to wait for you to post others. I love this. Thank you for posting, Madhu. Great …..

    1. Delighted that you enjoyed this Isadora. Yes it does require a certain degree of fitness to reach the top, but they are just as awesome viewed from below. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  3. If it weren’t for your wander lust, I wouldn’t know as much about the world’s architectural riches – thank you!

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