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Holy Monastery of Roussanou

Climbed on the top of a rock, woman monastery of Roussanou stands proud and majestic providing a spectacular view to the visitors. The rock that monastery has been built on, has enough common morphology with St Nikolas Anapavsa’s rock being both vertical,narrow and steed so the Holy Monastery of Roussanou has been built at 3 levels too. Monastery cover entire rock’s surface and seems like to be natural extension of the rock.

Monastery is being believed that was founded in the end of 14th century a.d and specifically in 1388 a.d by the monks Nikodemos and Venedictos. Sure was the action of brother monks Ioasaf and Maximos who after their inhabitation,and after they get the permission to inhabit from the Bishop of Larisa and the abbot of Great Meteoro, they had developed great contruction activity because they did not find nothing but ruins at rock’s plateau. In 1530 a.d they built a catholic at the same place there where the ruins of the deserted church of Metamorfoseos Sotiros was and which they had renovated it. Route of the monastery lost in time and the only curtain think we can say is that it was a safe shelter for the locals against the attacks by various enemies, especially at the period of Turkocracy. During the last 2 centuries we know that the monastery was in decline course until the decade of 1940 a.d. After vigorous efforts were made by the monks the monastery had been totally restored under the siege of the Archaeological service.

The catholic of the monastery is being dedicated to Jesus’s Tranfiguration but protector of the monastery is St Barbara. Catholic is a cross-high dome church,which due to the rock’s peculiar morphology its Holy Altar is facing to the north and not to the east as it should be. First hagiographies was painted in 1560 a.d. under the siege of monastery’s abbot, Arsenios and according an inscription which exists in the church ahiographies had been made by his own expense. Sign of the painter is not existing but judging by the result it must be someone really important since his agiographies are one of the most brilliant post-Byzantine works. Technotropia of them suggesting that it have been made by one of Cretan’s great school of artists and based on specialists he should be Tzortzis, student of the great painter Theofanis Strelitzas. To the narthex we can spot a multifunctional fresco of Jesus’s Second Coming and from the Judgement Day. Also remarkable is the egg of ostrich that adorns the church and symbolizes the Paternal Affection of God.

At the first years of the monastery the ascent on that piece of rock was made by ladders and net a procedure which was difficult, risky and time-consuming. Now the monastery can be aproached easily due to comfort cement stairs and 2 solid bridges that have been constructed. Do not miss to get out to the veranda and admire the breath-taking Meteora view and feel instantly the holiness and the vastness of divine creation.