Monks' Prison

Useful Information

Location: Near Kalambaka
Open: No restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: Speleologyerosional cave
Light: n/a
Guided tours:
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this cave was used as a jail by the monasteries.

At the foot of Aghio Pneumea, one of the rock pillars of Meteora, lies a huge cave portal. Not the kind of cave you know from karst areas, there is actually no dark part. The smooth rock face of the conglomerate has a huge but shallow hole, like an entrance which ends immediately. The oberhanging rock is obviously formed by softer rock, which eroded much faster. Even the monks used that fact and cut cells into the rock, which were reached on wodden ladders or with ropes. So this huge cavern has numerous small chambers in the rear wall.

In numerous guidebooks this caves are described as prison cells for errant monks. The idea is actually, that monks who did not obey monastey rules had to stay in the ancient cells or on wooden platform until they changed their mind. Probably the ladders were removed so they could not escape.