• THE HOLY AWE •
The cluster of huge dark stones made by sandstone dominates on the plain of Thessaly, near Pindus foot and Peneus river banks, reflecting the art of nature to a mythical landscape that remains unaltered for millions of years. The awe of the imposing sight has magnetized the spirit of its first settlers, leading them to create their ascetic huts on the recesses of rough, dateless rocks, in the early 11th century.
The transition from the inhospitable and inaccessible hermitages to the first monasterial “lithopolis” became in the 14th century.
The passage of time has brought significant changes to monasteries’ architecture and, after having left behind the scaffolding, nets and ladders, it mapped through stoned, carved in rocks stairs, the way to climb to the inaccessible.
Accessible now, 6 from the total 30 monasteries existed, they continue the patristic practice of ancient ascetics, preserving the Orthodox treasures and priceless artifacts of unique art. In 1989, Unesco inscribed Meteora in the list of World Heritage Monuments as the biggest cultural and natural value, after Mount Athos.
• THE CAVE OF THEOPETRA •
The limestone rock of Theopetra was formed 137 million years ago in the upper Cretaceous period, with its famous cave located at the northeast side. The revelation of continuous man-made embankments starts from the Middle Paleolithic Era and reaches the end of the Neolithic Era, witnessing man transition from Neantertal to Homo Sapiens. Excavations brought to light important findings, with landmark the shocking HUMAN FOOTPRINT OF THEOPETRA, which are the second oldest in the whole Europe!
The ancient city of Faloreia extended from the citadel of Scoobos hill to the Peneus river banks. Its name derives from the conical, helmet-like shape of Scoobos, which was called “falos” in the Homeric Epics. The powerful city was destroyed by the Romans in 198 BC, while the ruins of the citadel are still preserved at the hilltop. From ancient Faloreia two copper coins have been saved, one of which depicts the goddess Artemis and the name "FALOREIA" written perimetrically. The area has been designated as an archaeological site.