The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts has one of the most representative collections in Russia of foreign art dated from ancient times to modern days.
You may see there wonderful masterpieces from Northern Greece: St Gregory Palama (Early XV), St Gregory Diasorit (Second quarter of the XV), St Pantelemon (XIV century).
Daily 10 a.m. — 7 p.m. (entrance till 6 p.m.)
Closed — Mondays
121019, Russia, Moscow, Volkhonka st., 12
Admission 100 rubles ($4) for Russian citizens and 300 rubles ($12) for others.
A plenty of three coloured monastic cats - that was what everybody can see when entering the Great Meteoron! Here in Russia three coloured cats mean happyness for their owner. I don't know if it is so in Greece.
There are many other monasteries in Meteora, but they are closed (without monks), like "Ypapanti", "St. George Mandilas", e.t.c.
The greatest number of monasteries was 24:
1)Holy Spirit 2) Holy Modesto, 3)Chain of Apostle Peter, 4)Saint Prodromos, 5)Saint Taxiarchs, 6)Saint George Mandilas, 7)Saint Dimitrios, 8)Saint Antony, 9) Saint Athanasios, 10)Virgin Mary, 11)Saint Nicolas Badovas, 12)Saint Nicolas Kofinas, 13)Transfiguration of Jesus on the Mount, 14)Varlaam, 15) Saint Stephen, 16) Holy Trinity, 17) Holy Monastery 18)Roussano,19)Candle mass, 20)Almighty, 21)Kallistratou, 22)Ipsiloteras or Kalligrafon, 23)Saint Apostles and 24)Saint Nicolas Anapafsas.
You may see the quarter of Sopotos in the north east section of town. It is one of the oldest parts of the town, very picturesque encircled by the arch of the two great rocks, east by the rock of Holy Trinity and to the north by the greatest and most majestic rock, the rock of Alyssos.
You may watch my high resolution photo of Kalambaka-Meteora on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 39º 42' 33.48" N 21º 37' 37.26" E or on my Google Earth Panoramio Cathedral church of Saint Vissarion .
After dinner I walked around the Palazzo restaurant and found a Modern Church which provided wonderful views with Kalambaka’s Rocks on the background. I didn’t find its name because it seemed to me it had been just erected – it looked very new.
You may watch my high resolution photo of Kalambaka-Meteora on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 39º 41' 53.07" N 21º 38' 0.43" E or on my Google Earth Panoramio Kalambaka Modern Church.
Greek honey is famous and no wonder if you can see many beehives as shown her near Katerina in the direction of Mount Olympus. The photo show both "modern", wooden beehives, of a type that can be found everywhere in Europe and local wickerwork beehives that I had never seen anywhere else.
When the road gets further into the mountains, the landscape becomes very different but remains, even in august, very green. There is not much agriculture possible but the peasants succeed in getting hay that is collected along the dirt road.
In this area, in the mountains, not far from the Meteora, there are from time to time small ''islands'' of rich agriculture. This photo shows a small plateau covered with green and golden fields. Who would believe that this is Greece!
After the Meteora, we went on several very small roads, most of them dirt roads in order to have a look at absolutely tourist free parts of Greece! The sheepfolds shown on the two photos were primitive wooden structure, mostly covered with thatch that seemed to have remained unchanged since last century!
"Happy is he who bears a god within".
- Louis Pasteur
The Agia Triada or Holy Trinity monastery was used in the final scenes of the James Bond film 'For Your Eyes Only'.
[pic of Agia Triada taken from the net]
I was told that in one of the caves, which can be seen in the rock, the ascetic monks used to stay for months on end without coming down at all, thus punishing their bodies for some act of disobedience or for allowing their thoughts to take flight back to the world.
This monastery stands south-west of the rocks of Meteora, near the village of Kastraki.
The monastery which is preserved today was built around 15th century. The narrow and confined surface of the rock on which the monastery stands is the reason why its various parts do not extend horizontally but are built on different level, one above the other. Thus as we go up there, we find on the first level the church and refrectory and on the second the cells of the monks.
Everything about the place gives a sense of confinement and a feeling of mystery.
The name M-E-T-E-O-R-A [meaning ‘suspended in air’] is not met with in ancient times. It was used for the first time by the proprietor of the Monastery of the Transfiguration, Athanasios of Meteora, in 1344.
When exactly Meteora was first inhabited by monks is not known.
With the passage of time the monastic community grew, the number of monasteries increased to 24, and they received support from various benefactions and privileges accorded to them by lords, princes and patriarchs.
The 17th century saw monasticism at its most flourishing at Meteora, but today there are six monasteries in operation.
"Is not the core of nature in the heart of man?"
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The natural rock buildings blend so evenly with the scenery, they are hard to spot at first. Only the red tile roofs give them away. Centuries of weather have caused natural streaking of the rock acts as a natural camouflage. A plaque over one monastery door telling the history of the valley says the streaks are monk’s tears, crying for the sins of the outside world.
"Before God we are equally wise, and equally foolish".
- Albert Einstein
Once atop these almost inaccessible peaks, the monks lowered rope ladders to friends on the ground that sent up building materials and food. A system of levered pulleys with large baskets followed, and that is how they bring up their supplies to this day. Now, there are roads connecting all the buildings, but the inhabitants mostly use the old baskets and even have a hand-pulled cable car system for crossing some of the deeper chasms. Creaking cables cause all eyes to look up at a basket full of monks inching along a tiny cable a thousand feet (305 m) above the valley floor.