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View on the Meteora from Kastraki.

Meteora is a large complex of Greek Orthodox monasteries in a beautiful setting in north-central Greece. Six monasteries founded at dates back to the late 11th centuries are built on top of sandstone pinnacles at elevations up to 550 meters above the valley floor. Μετέωρα is Greek for "Suspended in the air", from the same root as air-related terms meteor and meteorology.

The formations go back to about 60 million years ago, when a mixture of sandstone and conglomerate formed during the Teriary Period. A series of plate movements raised the seabed, creating a high plateau with many fault lines. Weathering by water and wind formed their present shape.

Large monasteries were constructed starting in the early and mid 1300s. Athanasios Koinovitis came from Mount Athos in 1344 with a large group of followers. They built Moni Megalou Meteorou in 1356-1372 on top of a tall rock pinnacle. The other large monasteries that followed were built on top of other rock towers.

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Additional Photos by Kris Verhoeven (verswe) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 61 W: 3 N: 1206] (7330)
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