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Monastery of St. Nicholaos Anapafsas

Leaving behind the picturesque village of Kastraki, within the Municipality of Meteora, and ascending towards the stunning rock formations of Meteora, one encounters the male Holy Monastery of Saint Nicholas Anapafsas. Despite limited historical documentation, it is known that this monastery underwent significant renovations in the early 16th century AD, attributed to the efforts of Saint Dionysios, the Metropolitan of Larissa, and Hieromonk Nikanoras. Initially founded, its continuous operation spanned until approximately 1900 when it fell into disuse. The monastery saw restoration in 1890 under the auspices of the Archaeological Service, remaining inhabited until 1980. In 1997, it was revived and has since operated uninterruptedly.

Ascending to the monastery's first floor, one encounters the chapel of Saint Antonios and a crypt once housing rare artifacts and manuscripts, subsequently transferred to the Nunnery of St. Stephen. Additionally, this level encompasses a reception area. The second floor hosts the primary sanctuary of Saint Nicholas, while the third floor accommodates the monastery's old archives and relics, akin to those found in the monastery of Saint Nikolaos. Notably, the ancient ossuary and the chapel of Saint Ioannis Prodromos also reside on this level. At the summit of the rock stands the stone bell tower.

Previously, access to the monastery was facilitated by a suspended wooden staircase consisting of 62 steps. Presently, an easier ascent is ensured by the construction of 120 carved steps. Visitors are reminded to adhere to a modest dress code, with men abstaining from sleeveless tops and shorts above the knee, and women opting for skirts below the knee, upon entry into the monastery.

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