Over a high and imposing rock that makes you feel that is standing there to oversee all of Meteora, we can see the Holy Monastery of Jesus Transfiguration or Great Meteoron. The monastery covers a total area of 50.000 square meters, ows the name Great Meteoron to this big surface area, and is the basic visitor’s destination since it is the bigest, the oldest and the gratest among the monasteries and in which you can see a multitude of priceless historic relics.
The monastery was founded by Blessed Athanasios from Meteora in the mid of the 14th century a.d who organized the first community at Meteora and built a church dedicated to the Mother of God. Subsequently he built cells for the monks that had started to inhabit the rock and he also built the church of The Transfiguration of Jesus, which gave the name to monastery’s catholic. Major acquirer of the monastery is considered to be, the heir of Blessed Antonios, monk Ioasaf, who had a royal origin since he was the son of GreekSerbian king Simeon Uresis Palaiologos. During his 40 years of action at the monastery he was fully restored the church that has been dedicated to Transfiguration, built cells, hospital and a cictern. Also he was one of the acquirers who built the monastery of Ipsilotera on a steep and inaccessible rock opposite the monastery of Great Meteoron. Ioasaf’s royal origin considered the reason for the many imperial sponsorships that had been brought to the monastery driving it to huge growth in mid of the 16th century a.d and leaded it to be the strongest among the monasteries of Meteora. During this century modern-day church, the narthex of the catholic, the refectory and some other building were built. At the same period of time the number of the monks were living there reached to 300, number that has been declined through years and as a result today there are not but few monks inhabiting the monastery.
Monastery’s hagiographies date back to the 15th cebtury a.d by hagiographer of Macedonian School judging by the technics that testifies that. In the mid of the 16th century a.d and after the majestic temple of our days has been constructed ahiographers of the great Cretan School undertaken and adorned with works of astonishing shine and range of colors the Catholic and the narthex. The growthing period of the monastery had left a great legacy of historical and religious relics like the 2 woodcut shrine in the temple of the church, icons aged hundreds of years, manuscripts and gold-embroidered fabrics.
An ascending path of about 300 stairs that have been carved to the rock leading you to the monastery. During the ascent you are crossing a tunnel that is also has been carved to the rock, and combining that with the stairs, we can understand the abilities that have being developed by the monks through centuries.