Μονή της Υπαπαντής του Κυρίου

Monastery of the Assumption of the Lord


Useful Information

Location: Meteora
(39.73344459784543, 21.63080370437151)
Open: Closed.
Open on 02-FEB.
[2021]
Fee: free.
[2021]
Classification: Speleologyerosional caves SubterraneaCave Church
Light: n/a
Dimension:  
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography:  
Address: Monastery of the Assumption of the Lord, Holy Monastery of Megalo Meteoro (Metamorphosis), , Kalampaka 422 00, Tel: +30-, Fax: +30-,
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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History

1367 monastery founded by the Blessed Neilos and monk Kyprianos.
mid 18th cty monastery abandoned.
1765 restored by father Thimios Vlachavas.
1808 used as headquarters from where father Thimios Vlachavas started the rebelion against the Turks in Kalampaka.
1809 destroyed by the Turks.
1911 abandoned due to collapsed ladder.
~1930 monastery restored and stone staircase built.
1948 rock fall integrated into staircase.
1995-2000 monastery completely restored.

Description

The Μονή της Υπαπαντής του Κυρίου (Monastery of the Assumption of the Lord) is actually the only cave monastery at Meteora. It was lately renovated, but unfortunately it is not open to the public. However, we listed it, because it is actually more impressive from the outside and well worth a visit. The conglomerate and sandstone rocks of Meteora form numerous overhanging cliffs and ledges. This monastery is quite small and consists only of a small church and a monastery building which were built on two slightly bigger caverns on such a ledge. It is located in the middle of the vertical cliff face, 72m above ground. It is possible to reach the monastery on the ledge from the left side on a stone staircase with 100 steps. But actually the view from below or from the opposite hill is much more interesting. You can see that the monastery was built into quite shallow caves. To construct the monastery building, wooden beams were set into the rock to allow a sort of balcony, on which the outer third of the building sits.

The monastery is quite old, it was founded by the hieromonk Neilos and monk Kyprianos in 1367. It soon became a part of the monastery of Varlaam. But in the middle of the 18th century it was ruined and was closed. In 1765 it was restored by father Thimios Vlachavas. Since 1808 the monastery has been used as his headquarters from where he had started the rebellion against the Turks in Kalampaka. The Turkish-Albanian troops under the command of Ali-Pasa of Ioannina destroyed the monastery in 1809. They arrested father Thimios, brought him to Ioannina where they tortured and killed him. Father Thimios is today well known as a national hero and rebel.

But after the Greek had won their war and were freed, the monastery was used again, at least a little. But at the end there was nobody living there any more. So the monk Eugenios of the Great Meteora monastery climbed the the original ladder to light the candles. It was a wooden ladder from the ground in four sections, due to the irregularity of the rock. This made the climb difficult under best conditions. And one day in 1911 it collapsed under him, but the legend does not tell if he was injured or dead. However, the monastery was inaccessible and once more abandoned. When it was reopened a stone staircase was built around 1930. During the German occupation the half ruined cells were used as a hideout by refugees. A rockfall in May 1948 actually contributed to the staircase and made it easier to climb.

The monastery has been restored completely between 1995 and 2000. It is still managed by the monastery of Great Meteoro.