Photography at Meteora

scale and context in landscape photography

Photography at Meteora

Photography at Meteora in Greece is absolutely amazing. The region is known for its dramatic cliffs position on top of sheer cliffs. Some of these rocks are over 200m high thus presenting the dramatic scene that every landscape photographer is after. Meaning “lofty”, “elevated”, Meteora offers absolutely breath taking panoramic views, details and patterns: a dream to every photographer wishing to capture the variety of light conditions and mistery atmosphere.

Six different monasteries are now left on top of rock formations started coming to their shape about 60 million years ago when a series of earth movements pushed the seabed upward, creating a high plateau and causing many vertical fault lines in the thick layer of sandstone. Huge rock pillars were then formed by water, wind, and extremes of temperature on the vertical faults.

Occupation

The first people documented to inhabit Meteora after the Neolithic Era were an ascetic group of hermit monks who, in the ninth century AD, moved up to the ancient pinnacles. They lived in hollows and fissures in the rock towers, some as high as 1800 ft (550m) above the plain. As early as the eleventh century, monks occupied the caverns of Meteora. However, monasteries were not built until the fourteenth century, when the monks sought somewhere to hide in the face of an increasing number of Turkish attacks on Greece. At this time, access to the top was via removable ladders or windlass.

At the end of the fourteenth century, the Byzantine Empire’s reign over northern Greece was being increasingly threatened by Turkish raiders who wanted control over the fertile plain of Thessaly. The hermit monks, seeking a retreat from the expanding Turkish occupation, found the inaccessible rock pillars of Meteora to be an ideal refuge. More than 20 monasteries were built, beginning in the fourteenth century but only six remain today. Until the seventeenth century, the primary means of conveying goods and people from these eyries was by means of baskets and ropes.

The uniqueness of Meteora listed it as a monument for World Heritage by UNESCO.

During World War II the site was bombed and many art treasures were stolen. In the 1920s steps were cut into the rock, making the complex accessible via a bridge from the nearby plateau.

See here some of my images from my recent visit:

Zagori

After photography at Meteora, we decided to visit another area in Western Greece called Zagori. It is known for its old stone bridges and traditional houses all made of stones. Here is also the famous Vikos gorge, known as the deepest in the World in relation to its width.

Here are some images from that stunning area:

If interested in joining me for a landscape photography workshop, feel free to drop me a line.

2 thoughts on “Photography at Meteora”

  1. Breathtaking photo reports Haristo! My compliments ! For years we went to Chalkidiki and I understand that we really missed something not to travel a little further. Thank you for sharing the images. Will forward your mail to all my friends.

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