Truly a remarkable place that has to be seen to be appreciated. Sadly, the new road at the base does detract from the mystery. In the place of heart of central Greece and on the border of the Plain of Thessaly are the Meteora, which literally means the rocks suspended in air. Its from this word that we get the modern word meteors – rocks from outer space. In reality they are pillars of harder than average sandstone that have survived the erosion of the softer material that once surrounded them. Six religious retreats have been built on top of these pillars and one of the most famous is the Roussanou Monastery. It was rebuilt by two brothers, Maximos and Ioasaph , in 1545 and dedicated to St. Barbara whose sacred day is the 4th of December. Over the centuries its fortunes grew and faded. From 1730 to 1937 it was largely uninhabited although many of its relics remained within its walls. Shortly after the Nazi occupation of Greece in 1941 it was stripped of its treasures by the occupying soldiers. Most of these have never been recovered. Since the construction of a wooden bridge in 1800’s it has been relatively easy to visit the location and the nuns are said to be quite welcoming.