St. Stephen Monastery

Kalabaka, Greece

The Monastery of St. Stephen was founded by St. Antoninus Cantacuzene, who is thought to be a son of the Serb ruler Nicephorus II of Epirus, in c. 1400.

This monastery rests on the plain rather than on a cliff. It was shelled by the Nazis during World War II who believed it was harboring insurgents and was abandoned. The monastery was given over to nuns in 1961 and they have reconstructed it into a flourishing nunnery, with 28 nuns in residence in 2015.

The old katholikon (main church), which was rebuilt in 1545 and frescoed shortly thereafter, still stands. The new katholikon was built in 1798 and is currently being frescoed by a modern artist. It is dedicated to the martyred St. Charalambos, whose head it contains.

The refectory (15th century) has a surviving fresco of the Virgin in the apse. The monastery contains a small museum of vestments and other religious objects and the nuns sell handmade embroideries and other trinkets.

Monasteries of Meteora are included on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

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Meteora, Kalabaka, Greece
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Founded: c. 1400
Category: Religious sites in Greece

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