The Meteora (Greek: Μετέωρα, "levitating") are monasteries in north-east Greece on the edge of the Pindus Mountains, built on spectacular natural rock pillars. They were started in the 15th century as places of refuge in troubled times and access to them was extremely difficult, requiring either long ladders lashed together or a windlass and rope pulling up a net, for goods and humans.
In about the 1920s there was an improvement in the arrangements. Steps were cut in the rock that could be reached by rather flimsy bridges from the nearest solid rock. It is difficult to imagine how the monasteries were built on their pinnacles in the first place. Only a few of them are left now, tended by a few monks and nuns and visited by many tourists, hence the monastries now serve as museums.
The Agia Triada or Holy Trinity monastery was used in the final scenes of the James Bond film For Your Eyes Only.
The monastery Agiou Stephanou (Holy Stephen's) is inhabited by nuns only.
The monasteries are included in the UNESCO "World Heritage sites" list.
Demetrios Sofianos and Evthymios Tsigaridas, The Monastery of St Nicholas Anapafsas. History and Art, Kalambaka, 2003