Archeologists argue that Meteora has been considered a holy place by hermits since the Paleolithic, or several millennia before Christians were attracted by the area’s majestic boulders, which seem to belong to the long paths of geological time.
Later, in the holy place of Meteora and over the awe-inspiring rocks, monasticism flourished since Byzantine times, during which at least 24 monasteries were founded and maintained. Today, only six of them are inhabited: Great Meteoron, Varlaam, Roussano, St. Nikolas Anapausas, Holy Trinity, and St. Stephan’s.
The archaeological site of Meteora has been inscribed upon the UNESCO’s World Heritage sites for protection given its universal value as a cultural landmark that benefits all humanity.
In the Orthodox Church and Eastern Rite Catholic Churches, hermits live a life of prayer as well as service to their community in the traditional Eastern Christian manner of the poustinik. The poustinik is a hermit available to all in need and at all times.
The term “anchorite” (from the Greek ἀναχωρέω anachōreō, signifying “to withdraw”, “to depart into the country outside the circumvallate city”) is often used as a synonym for hermit, but anchorites lived in the solitude of an “anchorhold” (or “anchorage”), usually a small hut or “cell”.
*All footage (except historical) filmed by Kirsten and Nicolás.