Meteora - learning > World Heritages > Meteora


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メテオラは以前からテレビなどで見て存在は知っていたがなぜあんな高い岩の断がい絶壁に 修道院が建てられたのかなど謎が多く興味があった。
写真で見る修道院の全体像は正に神秘的で ピラミッド同様に建設工程を見てみたい建造物である。

<2007年度 経済学部 3年 K組 33番 前嶋啓仁>

Pre-reading Questions:
1. What country is Meteora in?
2. Why were the monasteries built?


Brief description:
In a region of almost inaccessible sandstone peaks, monks settled on these 'columns of the sky' from the 11th century onwards. Twenty-four of these monasteries were built, despite incredible difficulties, at the time of the great revival of the eremitic ideal in the 15th century. Their 16th-century frescoes mark a key stage in the development of post-Byzantine painting.

Reading Passage

. The word Meteora means literally 'hovering in the air' and of course brings to mind the word meteor.

@What created this rare is one of the mysteries of nature and there are many theories though they remain theories and none have been proven.
But as amazing a marvel of nature as these giant rocks the buildings on the top of these are a marvel of man and seem just as miraculous and make Meteora one of the most spectacular places to visit in Greece.

The area of Meteora was originally settled by monks who lived in caves within the rocks during the 11th Century. But as the times became more unsure during an age of Turkish occupation, brigandry and lawlessness,

Athey climbed higher and higher up the rock face until the inaccessible peaks where they were able to build monasteries by bringing material and people up with ladders and baskets.
This was also how the monasteries were reached until the nineteen twenties and now there are roads, pathways and steps to the top.

There are still examples of these baskets which are used for bringing up provisions. Back in the days when these baskets were the only way to get to the monasteries a nervous pilgrim asked his monk host if they ever replace the rope. "Of course we do" he replied. "But whenever it breaks", which I am sure put the guy at ease. But now you don't have to worry about ropes breaking since the monasteries are all connected by a series of pathways that if you begin early enough you can see them all in one day. They are also connected by roads so if you are coming by car and don't have all day to wander around you can also get close enough and then continue on foot.

BDuring the Turkish occupation it was the monasteries which kept alive the Hellenic culture and traditions and were not only religious centers but academic and artistic as well.
It is believed that were it not for the monasteries, Hellenic culture would have disappeared and modern Greece would be a reflection of the Ottoman empire with little knowledge of its roots and history. The monasteries attracted not only the deeply religious, but the philosophers, poets, painters and the deep thinkers of Greece. Today only six of the monasteries are active.

Tips etc.
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Ottoman Empire

Web Sites
UNESCO Meteora
Wikipedia Japanese
Wikipedia Eng : > World Heritages > Meteora

by Hirohito Maejima, Aoyama Gakuin College of Economics
Special Thanks to Setsuko Watanabe

© 2005