UNESCO – Meteoras I: The Icons

First thing you need to know about Greeks is that they are of Orthodox religion and are actually very religious. Same thing goes for the Romanians of Romania (us, the minority have other different religions), Wikipedia says that 86.7% of our country is of Orthodox Christian religion. SO, if you put some Romanians in a bus on a holiday in Greece you might end up hearing and doing religion-related things. This pretty much sums up our one-day trip to the Meteoras, where our first stop was at Zindros Icons, a workshop of Byzantine icons and souvenirs.

Because we are of different (and much more liberal) religions, we remained objective throughout the field trip, trying to absorb the new information  of a religion we lived so close to but knew very little about. At the entrance we were greeted by friendly faces, offering us sweets and a cup of refreshing drinks as we made our way upstairs  to the place of exhibition. When they said workshop, I expected to see at least a little man in the corner doing his thing, painting the icons but there was nobody. It was actually a souvenir shop, no “work in progress” in sight.

A guide saluted the crowd as we gathered around him, and started to display some of the most popular icons in the shop, explaining their power and the way they helped. Saints were painted on most of them, one was for youngsters who needed support with their education, the other for the ones who were mourning, a third one for the ill, and the list goes on…He actually talked for about 30-40 minutes, introducing the most renown ones to the crowd, but I guess most of the group knew exactly what function most of the icons had.

Afterwards we had some time to look around and explore Zindros Icons. There were so many categories, so many shapes and sizes, done with different techniques and on different materials! The selection was a very vast one, some were hand-made, others had silver (again, of different kinds, sizes and quantities), and some even had gold in them! Prices rose as the icons became bigger, heavier and harder to make.

Although most of these icons could be found in souvenir-shops in all of Greece, the people we traveled with exclaimed that if they were going to buy an icon, they’d have to buy it from the proper place! If I remember correctly, it was a bit pricier than in souvenir shops across the country, but if that’s the way they preferred it, it’s fine by me!

A lot of people were buying stuff and not only icons! You could find everything here religion-related (as seen on the photo above)! From candles through supports for incense, to rosaries and different cross-shaped necklaces, earrings and bracelets you could find everything and anything. The shop had two stories, both filled with colorful and shiny take-me-homes. All in all, it  was an interesting experience, considering I didn’t know so much about this form of religion, but I have to tell you a little secret: I liked the Meteoras a little bit more! 🙂 About that soon on the blog!

Trackbacks & Pings

  • Meteoras II: The Monasteries | CityoftheWeek :

    […] you could read in the previous post, our journey started in the early morning with a stop at Zindros Icons, and since the museum offered a “taste” of the Meteoras with a captivating view, we […]

    4 years ago

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