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  4. Agios Stefanos Monastery

Agios Stefanos Monastery, Meteora

Photo © Alan Grant. View all images in our Agios Stefanos Monastery Photo Gallery.
Photo © Alan Grant.
Photo © Gabriel.
Photo © Gabriel.
Photo © Gabriel.
Photo © Gabriel.

The only monastery in the Meteora visible from Kalambaka, St. Stephen's was founded around 1400 and is now a nunnery. Although less spectacular than the others, it is the easiest monastery to visit and the nuns are welcoming.

History

Moni Aghiou Stefanou was founded by St. Antoninus Cantacuzene, who is thought to be a son of the Serb ruler Nicephorus II of Epirus, in c.1400.

The monastery suffered much damage in the 20th century: it was bombed during World War II and desecrated during the subsequent Civil War. In the latter period, most of the frescoes were defaced by Communist rebels.

St. Stephen's was virtually abandoned until 1961, when it became a nunnery. It is currently inhabited by 28 nuns led by Abbess Agathi Antoniou.

What to See

The old katholikon, which was rebuilt in 1545 and frescoed shortly thereafter, still stands. The new katholikon of Agiou Stefanou 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.

Getting There

St. Stephen's Monastery just outside the town of Kalambaka and easily approached thanks to a bridge from the main road. If hiking, it is 15 minutes along the path from Agios Triadhos. The trail towards Kalambaka from St. Stephen's is unused and dangerous; use the Agios Triadhos route instead.

Quick Facts on Agios Stefanos Monastery

Site Information
Names:Agios Stefanos; Agios Stefanos Monastery; Agios Stefanos Monastery, Meteora; Ayiou Stefanou; Moni Aghiou Stefanou; St. Stephen's Nunnery
City:Meteora
State:Thessaly
Country:Greece
Categories:Monasteries; Shrines
Faiths:Christianity; Greek Orthodox
Status:active
Visitor and Contact Information
Location:Meteora, Greece
Coordinates:39.709283° N, 21.638560° E  (view on Google Maps)
Lodging:View hotels near this location
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.

Map of Agios Stefanos Monastery

Below is a location map and aerial view of Agios Stefanos Monastery. Using the buttons on the left (or the wheel on your mouse), you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out to get your bearings. To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse.

References

  1. Blue Guide Greece: The Mainland, 7th ed. (W.W. Norton, 2006), 549.
  2. Ayiou Stefanou - Frommer's Greece
  3. Ayiou Stefanou - Rough Guide to Greece
  4. The Saint Stephen Monastery - Kalampaka.com
  5. Advisory Body Evaluation - UNESCO World Heritage (1987)
  6. Meteora: Greece's Spiritual Pinnacles - Travel with a Challenge
  7. Meteora: Monasteries – Greece Travel

More Information

Article Info

Title:Agios Stefanos Monastery, Meteora
Author:Holly Hayes
Last updated:07/01/2009
Permalink:www.sacred-destinations.com/greece/meteora-agios-stefanos-monastery
Link code:<a href="http://www.sacred-destinations.com/greece/meteora-agios-stefanos-monastery">Agios Stefanos Monastery, Meteora</a>