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A narrow bridge from the main road runs to this 16th-century monastery, which was named for a hermit who lived here in the 14th century and built a tiny chapel on this promontory. The chapel, considerably enlarged and decorated with frescoes, is now an annex of the main church. Varlaam's founders were two brothers from Ioannina, who considered Ioannina's monastery and lakeside scenery too sybaritic. Presumably the brothers found the Meteora's harsh landscape more to their liking: According to legend, they had to drive away the monster who lived in a cave on the summit before they could settle here. The nicest thing about Varlaam is its garden; the monks who sometimes sit here are often willing to chat with visitors.