Timios Stauros(Holy Cross) Monastery in Doliana
It is 82 km from Trikala, in a dense fir forest of the beautiful Aspropotamos river. The monastery was founded around 1700. Its first church, Agios Nikolaos, dates back to 1790,but was substituted by a newer building in 1996. The second temple which is dedicated to the
Holy Belt of the Theotokos, after being set on fire by the Germans in 1943,is today a fallen pile of stones. It possibly dates back to 1750, during the excavation of 1998 as found engraved in stone in 1792.
The third and final temple of the monastery, dedicated to the HolyCross, was built in 1792, and fortunately did not collapse when it wasset on fire in 1943. It was occasionally renovated and is now in excellent condition. It is a peculiarly post-Byzantine church, an impressive multicolored and multi-cave building of great architectural value and good acoustics, a building with a predominantly stone character.
The most characteristic feature of the temple is the number of domes, there are twelve (but the central one is double, so thirteen), giving the whole exterior appearance a real Byzantine magnificence that fascinates the visitor. Externally, the temple is also adorned with several interesting folk style stone-reliefs.
The Monastery of Doliana, with its enormous and multifaceted religious and social offer, finally merged in 1924 at Agios Stefanos of Meteora and is, until now, their dependency. Here, two precious codes of the monastery, 109 (Prothesi) and 113 (Parisia) were saved. Today, the monastery has a guard and is open to visitors.