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The Meteora, Thessaly, Greece

The meteora are enormous masses of sandstone shaped by seismic activity into free-standing columns of rock. The name

The meteora are enormous masses of sandstone shaped by seismic activity into free-standing columns of rock.

The name "meteora" means suspended in the air, and from the late 11th century, the meteora began to be used by hermits and ascetics. During a period of political strife in the fourteenth century monasteries began to be constructed in these inaccessible sites -- four of which still house religious communities until today.

They were inscribed on the World Heritage List as a mixed Cultural-Natural Site in 1988.