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Roussanou Monastery, Meteora

Photo © travelinknu. View all images in our Roussanou Monastery Photo Gallery.
Photo © Liz Lawley.
Photo © Mel & John Kots.
Photo © Mel & John Kots.
Photo © Liz Lawley.
Photo © Yuankuei Cheng.

Founded in the 16th century, the easily-accessible Rousannou Monastery occupies a lower rock than the others of the Meteora.

History

Rousannou (Ρουσανου) Monastery was founded around 1545 by Maximos and Ioasaph of Ioannina. The reason for the monastery's name is not known - it is actually dedicated to St. Barbara - but may reflect the name of a hermit who occupied the rock. It soon declined and became subject to Varlaam Monastery by 1614.

The monastery once again fell into disrepair for the two centuries prior to the 1940s, when it was damaged in World War II then plundered by the Germans. It was later repaired by the regional archaeological service and since 1988 it has been occupied by a small community of 13 nuns.

What to See

Rousannou Monastery stands on a low rock and is easily accessible by a bridge built of wood in 1868 and replaced by more solid material in 1930. Despite this, its situation is still quite dramatic, with the rock dropping off sharply on all sides.

The monastery covers the entire surface of the rock and consists of three levels: the church and cells occupy the ground floor, while the two upper floors house the guest quarters, reception halls, an exhibition room, and more cells.

The frescoes in Rousannou's Church of the Transfiguration of Christ, which is essentially a smaller version of Varlaam's church, date from 1560. The narthex is decorated primarily with gruesome scenes of martyrdom, as at other Meteora monasteries.

The resident nuns tend to be friendlier to visitors than their male counterparts in Meteora and often provide sweets to guests as they relax in the courtyard (if so, it is nice to put a small donation in the box).

Quick Facts on Roussanou Monastery

Site Information
Names:Agias Varvaras; Roussanou Monastery; Roussanou Monastery, Meteora
City:Meteora
State:Thessaly
Country:Greece
Categories:Monasteries
Faiths:Christianity; Greek Orthodox
Feat:Spectacular Setting
Styles:Byzantine
Dates:1545
Status:active
Visitor and Contact Information
Location:Meteora, Greece
Coordinates:39.721539° N, 21.632080° 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 Roussanou Monastery

Below is a location map and aerial view of Roussanou 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. Rousannou - Frommer's Greece
  3. Rousánnou - Rough Guide to Greece
  4. The Rousanou 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:Roussanou Monastery, Meteora
Author:Holly Hayes
Last updated:07/01/2009
Permalink:www.sacred-destinations.com/greece/meteora-roussanou-monastery/greece/meteora
Link code:<a href="http://www.sacred-destinations.com/greece/meteora-roussanou-monastery/greece/meteora">Roussanou Monastery, Meteora</a>