The Holy Trinity Monastery or the monastery of Agia Triada in Greek is one of the most photographed monuments of Meteora. At the same time, it ranks among the most difficult ones to reach in terms of its access. Nothing extraordinary difficult but a bit more stressing than the other monasteries nonetheless. Those who attempt to walk up the steep but short trail and the stairs enjoy some of the most panoramic views of the surrounding cliffs and the town of Kalabaka below!
This Monastery is very close to Agios Stefanos monastery, no more than a 10-minute walk. The monastery of Holy Trinity is perched on a steep and magnificent pillar-like rock, which rises precariously some 300 meters above the town of Kalabaka. From the base of the cliff, visitors can easily find the old trail of the monks leading down to the town of Kalabaka.
The history of Agia Triada
The records of its initial establishment are somewhat sketchy but we do know that it exists as a Monastery at least since the year 1362, as indicated in a document by Symeon Uressis Palaeologus from that same year.
We believe the first founder of the monastery was a monk named Dometious who lived on the cliff during the 14th century. The main chapel or Catholicon of the monastery is dedicated to Holy Trinity it was built back in the 15th century. The angiography and the frescos of the chapel were painted between the 17th and the 18th century. The monastery has another smaller chapel dedicated to John the Baptist made in the 17th century.
The monastery of Agia Triada like most other monasteries of Meteora fell in decline and by the early 20th century, it was abandoned. In 1909, a small group of Greek archaeologists surveying the monastery accidentally discovered a crypt containing 47 rare parchments and ancient codes. In 1925, the local bishop with the help of the locals finished the construction of the stairs to make safe access. During the second WW, the Monastery of Holy Trinity suffered heavy damages with one of its main buildings burning to the ground.
Τhe monastery of Holy Trinity was renovated extensively in the ’70s and today remains an active and open monastery for people to visit.
The one monastery featured in a James Bond film
Holy Trinity became the celebrity among the other monasteries of Meteora when in 1981 took part in James Bond 007 film titled “For your eyes only”. The film stars Roger Moore as the James Bond agent and co-stars Carole Bouquet, Chaim Topol, Julian Glover, and many others.
In this old James Bond film, the monastery was featured as the abandoned mountaintop monastery of St. Cyril. Despite the fact that film producers had originally secured a permit from the Greek Ministry of Culture to shoot inside the monastery of Holy Trinity, the monks of Meteora fiercely opposed the decision. Eventually, the monks forced the producers to shoot the monastery only from the outside. For the indoor scenes in the monastery, film producers had to build a whole new set resembling a monastery on a nearby cliff.
The film shooting on the site lasted for a few months, during which many locals participated in the film production either as stunts or as technical crews. This early eighties 007 film titled “For your eyes only” brings world fame and popularity to the site for the first time. Meteora and the monastery of Agia Triada ever since earned their rightful place among the most recognizable landmarks of Greece.
Frequently Asked Questions About Meteora The Monasteries
What are the visiting hours and days of the monasteries?
The opening hours often change from year to year, so beware when relying on information provided in guidebooks or general websites. We will try to do our best in keeping the timetable of visiting times and days of monasteries up-to-date. Check the opening hours of Meteora monasteries here.
Is there a dress code to enter a monastery?
Appropriate clothing for everyone is required to enter the monasteries. Sleeveless clothing and shorts over the knee for men are prohibited and you‘ll be denied access if dressed that way. For ladies skirts and shawls are available to borrow or buy at the entrance of monasteries in case they don’t have such clothing to cover themselves.
How many stairs for each monastery?
The Monastery of the Holy Trinity and Great Meteoro are the less accessible (over 300 steps). Rousanou, Varlaam and Saint Nicolaos have an average number of 140. Some of the monasteries apart the staircases requires uphill walking in paved paths. The Holy Monastery of St Stephen is connected with a walking bridge, thus making it more accessible than any other monastery.
What is the Entrance fee for the monasteries?
In each monastery there is an entrance fee of 3 euro per person. Kids up to 12 years old they don’t pay entrance fees in the monasteries.
Should I take the car to drive to monasteries or is better using other means?
There are many reasons not to want to drive while exploring Meteora — like if you’re not confident driving on the opposite side of the road, your spouse is a terrible copilot and you just want to have fun instead of arguing; or if you want to enjoy the scenic road and not to feel stress about the narrow and curvy roads. Lack of parking space outside the monasteries is especially frequent phenomenon during the pick period in the summer. So by joining one of our tours might save you a lot of headaches and unwanted distractions.