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Food and TravelGreece 2023: Meteora Inspires Hope

Greece 2023: Meteora Inspires Hope

Hellenic News of America
Hellenic News of Americahttps://www.hellenicnews.com
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By Catherine Tsounis

The timeless truth of Byzantine iconography offers hope to all who embark on a journey to the Meteora monasteries. Iconography serves as a visual record, preserving history when written documents have faded into the past. Among the multitude of visitors, Eastern Orthodox worshippers stand out, comprising a community of 220 million Christians who have endured since the fall of the Eastern Roman Byzantine Empire in 1453. In August 2023, Kapogiannis Travel Agency facilitated an affordable trip for over 45 individuals, culminating in a visit to Meteora, where even a fire truck awaited at the entrance of St. Stephen’s Monastery.

St. Varlaam, Meteora. Photo by Catherine Tsounis

Among the awe-inspiring sights of Meteora, the fresco of Father/Abbot St. Sisoes before the tomb of Alexander the Great never fails to captivate me. In this artwork, even the mighty Alexander succumbs to the inevitability of Death. We all share the same destiny of ending up in the same grave. The poignant Greek inscription reads: “Sisoes, the great Ascetic, before the tomb of Alexander, King of the Greeks, who was once covered in glory, astonished, he mourns for the vicissitudes of time and the transience of glory and tearfully declaims: The mere sight of you, tomb, dismays me and causes my heart to shed tears, as I contemplate the debt, we, all men owe. How can I possibly stand it? Oh Death! Who can evade you?” The sentiment captured is perfect—a testament to the universal human experience.

A visit to Meteora offers not only a visual feast but also a profound insight into the eternal themes that have occupied the human mind throughout history. It is a journey that transcends time and place, providing a glimpse into the profound thoughts and feelings that have shaped our understanding of existence.

St Sisoes before the tomb of Alexander the Great. Even the powerful are conquered by Death. We all end in the same grave. St. Varlaam, Meteora. Phtoto by Catherine Tsounis

The copyrights for these articles are owned by the Hellenic News of America. They may not be redistributed without the permission of the owner. The opinions expressed by our authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Hellenic News of America and its representatives.

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