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
See all sites in Kalabaka


Founded: c. 1400
Category: Religious sites in Greece

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4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Sebastian Muñoz (2 years ago)
I felt a little bit scammed because I was the only one guy who had to buy trousers to can go in. The others guys inside were wearing shorts like me, and they didn't have to pay for trousers to enter. Otherwise nice place, with easy access.
Dries De Laet (2 years ago)
Our favorite monastery during our visit in meteora. The residents of the monastery are present in everything: entrance, souvenir store ... this makes everything feel super authentic and creates an extra calming atmosphere. Moreover, the gardens are beautifully maintained.
Crocheting with Amaryllis (2 years ago)
A really beautiful place to visit, an unbelievable view, and it is the oldest nunnery/monastery in meteora also the only nunnery. Women have to wear a dress or a skirt over the shoulders and under the knees, men have to wear long trousers and a shirt over the shoulders.
Andy Xufuris (2 years ago)
Not my favorite place, but I'm also not the most religious. It's very pretty to see. The view is great and the monastery is very nice. Not to much to see though but I can see why religious people would like to see it. The bathrooms certainly need to be updated... It's 2021, people should not be using holes in the ground anymore
Mike X (2 years ago)
Despite the website, they ARE still providing temporary skirts. Great views of kalambaka from inside. It's a got a church and really small museum (no photos allowed in either). Church is full of imagery on the walls and ceilings!
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