The monastery of holy trinity greek destinations
Meteora, kalampaka the monastery of holy trinity

A Famous Greek Monastary –  Greek Tourist Destinations

The Monastery of the Holy Trinity, also known as Agia Triada, Ayias Triadhos, Ayia Triada, all of which mean “Holy Trinity”), is an Eastern Orthodox monastery located in central Greece’s Peneas Valley, northeast of Kalambaka.

It is located at the top of a steep rocky precipice that rises to 400m high. It is one of 24 Meteora monasteries and the oldest. Sixteen of the 24 monasteries remain active and are open to visitors. It was built between the 14th and 15th centuries. The church is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites List, Meteora.


Where is the Monastery of the Holy Trinity, Meteora?

The monasteries were constructed on rock cliffs located in the Meteora deltaic plains. They rise more than 400m (1,300 ft) high. They can be found in the Pineios Valley, Thessalian plains near Kalambaka.

The rock cliffs were formed during earthquakes and contain conglomerate and sandstone formations due to fluvial erosion. They have been dated chemically at 60 million years. The sediments were once found in an inland ocean during the Pliocene period.

Greece meteora monastery of the holy trinity
Greece – meteora – monastery of the holy trinity

The sediments grew as a cone in the earthquakes and formed steep rock columns known as “heavenly columns”. It is hilly, forested and has river valleys.

Separated from the main group are the monasteries of St. Stephen’s, Holy Trinity and the Monastery of Holy Trinity. They are located further north. Holy Trinity’s entry was reached by a difficult route that required crossing a valley and climbing up through a rock outcrop. This approach was prior to the 20th century.

Provisions were stored in baskets made by rope ladders, now with a winch. Today, you can either walk 3 km (1.9 mi) from Kalambaka to the monastery or use a winch-operated lift. The road runs from the back of the cliff. The road is accessible via 130 steps of stone and tunnels. There is a 2 acre (0.81 ha), garden at the summit.

History Of The Monastery of the Holy Trinity, Meteora

Between the 14th century and 15th century, monasteries were built on top of dangerous cliffs near Meteora. In the 11th century, religious communities established hermitages at these cliffs. John Uros, the title emperor of Serbs & Greeks, became a monk in the 14th century and moved to Meteora. He established, rebuilt, and endowed monasteries there.

Monks sought refuge from the dangers of the cliffs during the turbulent political times in the region. According to local legend, Dometius, the first monk to arrive at Holy Trinity’s site, arrived in 1438.

Monastery of the holy trinity meteora

Many sources claim Holy Trinity was built between 1475-76 and 1475-76, but some sources don’t know the dates of the monastery’s construction and the chapel that adjoins, which is dedicated to St. John the Baptist. The decoration of the Holy Trinity was completed in 1741.

There were 24 monasteries like Holy Trinity, St. Barbara Rousanou and St. Nicholas Anapafsas by the end of the 15th century. Parthenios (Damascene), Jonah, Jonah and Parthenios) were benefactors. Their names are on the monastery walls.

Sixteen of the original monasteries, including the Holy Trinity, are still in use. These six UNESCO World Heritage Sites – Holy Trinity (St. Stephen), Rousanou (St. Nicholas Anapafsasas), Varlaam and the Great Meteoron – make up the Meteora UNESCO World Heritage Site. Inscribing to UNESCO was completed under the criteria of 1988. I, II and IV. V. VII.

Architecture and fittings

The church plan follows a cruciform design and features a dome supported by two columns. The main cathedral of the monastery was built in the 15th-century and decorated in frescoes by two monks in 1741. The apse also includes a pseudo-trefoil window. You will find white columns, arches and rose-coloured tiles. The church has a small skeuophylakion that was added in 1684.

The vault’s wide exonarthex barrel vault was constructed in 1689 and adorned in 1692.   A small chapel dedicated to St. John the Baptist is carved into the rock and contains frescoes dating back to the seventeenth century. The chapel was well-decorated and contained valuable manuscripts.

Monastery of the holy trinity meteora

However, it was looted by the Germans during World War II. According to some reports, the sixteenth-century frescoes in the building are post-Byzantine paintings. The walls are decorated with a fresco depicting St Sisois as well as the skeleton Alexander the Great.

Monastic life

Holy Trinity was home to fifty monks at one time. But, by the beginning of the twentieth century, only five monks remained. Visitors are permitted. According to some reports, Patrick Leigh Fermor visited these monasteries as a guest of Abbot Varlaam several decades ago. Holy Trinity was still one of the poorest monasteries in Meteora at that time.

Monastery of the holy trinity meteora

In popular culture

Wikimedia Commons contains media related to the Monastery of the Holy Trinity Meteora.

It was featured in the 1981 James Bond movie For Your Eyes Only. It is featured in the film’s climax when Bond climbs up the rock cliff to intrude upon Erich Kriegler and Aristotle Kristatos to retrieve the ATAC coder. Julian Glover played Aristotle Kristatos. He was hiding in the monastery. When the KGB approaches Bond, Bond eventually throws the ATAC coder from the cliff.

The 1961 film Tintin also featured the Monastery in it.

Meteora was partly used in the 1957 film  Boy on a Dolphin.  Clifton Webb is the character who visits Meteora and climbs up to the Holy Trinity monastery for library research.

View from the top of the holy trinity monastery
View from the top of the holy trinity monastery.

People Also Ask

Is it possible to stay in a Meteora monastery?

As its name suggests, the Grand Meteora Hotel is large. The views are spectacular because there aren’t any houses nearby. In summer, you can stay at the Meteora Hotel in Kastraki. This luxurious hotel offers all modern conveniences and a large outdoor pool that overlooks the rocks.

What is the cost of visiting Meteora’s monasteries?

What is the entrance fee to the monasteries? Each monastery charges a 3 Euro per person entrance fee. Children under 12 years of age are not required to pay any entrance fees at the monasteries.

Why is Meteora so famous?

Meteora is known for its monasteries perched on top of vertical peaks. But few realize that hermit monks first scaled these stones to settle in the hollows and caves in the rocks in the 9 th century.

Is For Your Eyes Only a real monastery?

Cyril’s Monastery is a fictional Eastern Orthodox monastery that was abandoned in Greece. It is located at the summit of a rocky precipice more than 400m high. This location was featured in James Bond’s 1981 film For Your Eyes Only.

What was the purpose of the Meteora?

The Monasteries of Meteora. There were 24 monasteries in Meteora, Greece at their height in the 16th century. They were built to serve nuns and monks according to the Eastern Orthodox Church. Many of these buildings are Athonite-inspired in their architecture.

Further Reading


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