The Monastery of Great Meteoron is the largest of the monasteries located at Meteora, though in 2015 there were only 3 monks in residence.
The Great Meteoro Monastery was founded in the mid-14th century by Saint Athanasios the Meteorite who was the first founder of the monastery and the systematic organizer. For this reason, the foundation of this monastery is considered to be a turning point, or even better, the beginning of the organized monastisicm in Holy Meteora. Hosios Athanasios was born around 1302 in the medieval town of New Patras, today’s Hypati.
The Katholikon (main church), consecrated in honour of the Transfiguration of Jesus was erected in the middle of the 14th century and 1387/88 and decorated in 1483 and 1552. The central courtyard is embellished with beautiful 16th century frescoes. Take time to gaze at the artistic details of some of the best samples of Greek Byzantine art and then rush to the museum, where historical codices and religious icons of high value are on display. Once you’ve reached the summit, a rewarding view awaits you and the monastery calls for exploration.References:
The city walls of Avila were built in the 11th century to protect the citizens from the Moors. They have been well maintained throughout the centuries and are now a major tourist attraction as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors can walk around about half of the length of the walls.
The layout of the city is an even quadrilateral with a perimeter of 2,516 m. Its walls, which consist in part of stones already used in earlier constructions, have an average thickness of 3 m. Access to the city is afforded by nine gates of different periods; twin 20 m high towers, linked by a semi-circular arch, flank the oldest ones, Puerta de San Vicente and Puerta del Alcázar.