GREAT METEORON MONASTERY - GREECE
Meteora is a Greek word meaning "suspended in the air". The Meteora monasteries were built on 24 gigantic rocks which rise perpendicularly from the ground on the western edge of the plain of Thessaly where Pinios river emerges from the deep canyons of the Pindus range and surges into the Thessalian plain. Roussanou Monastery was founded in 1545, Varlaam Monastery in 1517, Agia Triada or Holy Trinity in the 15th century. Monastery of Agios Nikolaos Anapafsas was built in the 16th Century . Megalo Meteoro or Metamorphisis, the first church of the Transfiguration is the best known of the Monasteries and is built upon the highest rock. The Holy Monastery of Great Meteoron ( founded in the 1300's AD ) is the biggest, highest, most distant and the oldest of the Meteora monasteries. These isolated monasteries helped keep alive Greek Orthodox religious traditions and Hellenic culture during the turbulent Middle Ages and Ottoman Turk occupation of Greece (1453-1829). In 1988, UNESCO declared Meteora to be a World Heritage Site.