The “Secret School” of Meteora – Theopetra Cave
Amazing photos and unique moments
Memorial Holy Cross Monastery (Doliana)
The temple of the Holy Cross is located 1.5 km from the village Doliana and 2 km from the community Krania Aspropotamos.
The area of Kranias and generally Pindos by Aspropotamos as the Samarina and Metsovo in Trikala region is Koutsovlachikon villages where older residents still speak the Vlach language. The data relating to the history of the church are minimal, and those that are constituting the history of the monument from the 19th century.
First written mention of the monument are two documents of 1839 (firman) and 1841 (Worldwide), relating to renovation and rebuilding of the temple. The Temple of the Cross was part of the monastery of 1770 (the oral tradition dating to 1630), which is recorded as the monastery of Agios Nikolaos and now the locals call it the Holy Monastery Zone.
This part of the monastery of the same monastery was even a chapel dedicated to Saint Nicholas, who were nearby. Of these three institutions which are dependencies of the Monastery of St. Stephen’s Meteora, survives intact only the church of the Cross while the other two, as well as other monuments in the surrounding villages, were destroyed in 1943 by a severe attack of the Nazis.
The Temple of the Cross is characterized by the peculiar architecture. It consists of a domed and polykoncho nave and the narthex demolished today. The nave has a basilica plan with three semicircular arches on the east side and three arches, each long side of which is a sized dance floor.
The temple is covered with a slate roof, above which rise 12 domes and trouliskoi built. Inside the sanctuary is shaped synthronon and episcopal throne.
The church’s interior is not covered with masonry and thus without paintings, thus highlighting the stone character. The founder of the church, according to an inscription on stone reliefs is Gianousios Gkougkouzis the village Ventista (current Amaranth) Aspropotamos.
The Monastery of Ypapanti, which is currently unsettled, belongs to the Great Meteoro Monastery, which is the biggest one.
Fully constructed inside a large cavity of a rock, this monastery is very indicative of its kind, compared to the ones that are usually seen on the peaks of rocks.
A monk under the name of Nilos, in the year 1367 AD, along with another monk named Cyprianus became the founders and the owners of the monastery. It was destroyed in 1809 when the local rebel and hero Papathymios Vlahavas was arrested here by the Turkish army of Ali Pasha.
It has recently been restored, however, it remains closed. The pathway to this monastery is a very simple and pleasant one.
St. Nicholas (Badovas)
The small valley of Panaghia (Virgin Mary) stretches between two large rocks called Pyxari and Amparia and other smaller rocks.
In the center of the valley lies the old chapel of Panaghia. On the foot of the high rock of Pixari is the skete of Aghios Nikolaos (St. Nicholas) of Badova, partially built inside the large cavity of the bottom of the rock.
In the old days, this skete was accessible through a cave that existed right below it, where a wooden ladder connected it with the upper cave.