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The Holy Monastery of Varlaam is the second biggest monastery of Meteora. Located very close to Great Meteoro Monastery, it was founded in the mid 14th century by a monk named Varlaam.
The monastery eventually was named from Varlaam who manage to climb on the cliff around 1350. A few decades later, and after Varlaam died the cliff was abandoned by the rest of the monks. The 14th-century chapel built by him and dedicated to the “Three Hierarchs” in the following years almost turned into ruins.
In the early 16th century two brothers from Ioannina, the priest-monks Theophanes and Nectarios, the so-called Apsarades decided to reactivate the abandoned monastery of Varlaam. They settled on the cliff spending many years building a new chapel dedicated to “All Saints” in 1541.
The chapel was finally decorated in 1548. The beautiful frescos in the monastery’s chapel of All Saints belong to the famous hagiographer of the 16th century Franco Catalano. The monastery has preserved the tower with the old pully system where you can see the net, used by the first monks to bring up people and provisions.
The visitors can also see a very large 16th-century oak barrel used for water storage over the previous centuries. The monastery of Varlaam has opened recently a brand new museum, where visitors can admire the excellence of religious painted icons – mostly contemporary to the Renaissance period – and precious holy vestments of the priests from the Byzantine period.
Visiting Hours: 09:00 to 16:00.
The monastery stays closed on Fridays.
Visiting Hours: 09:00 to 15:00.
The monastery stays closed on Thursdays and Fridays.