The Monastery of St. Nicholaos Anapafsas is situated very near Kastraki village. It is the first monastery one can meet on the way from the village to Meteora. All around we can see the ruins of other monasteries of Prodromos, Aghia Moni and Pantokrator and the small church of Virgin Mary of Doupiani.
The rock, where the monastery stands, is very small and narrow at the top. This reason influenced the whole structural formation of the monastery which could not grow wider so finally a consecutive storeyed construction was the solutiob to the problem.
Going up the first staircase, we meet the very small chapel of St. Antonios and the crypt where, in the past, were kept the codices and heirlooms of the monastery. This chapel is of great importance because on its walls there are preserved few remainings of old paintings, dated back to the 14th century. On the next floor, near a long corridor, stands the katholikon of the monastery, the church of St. Nicholaos and on the last floor the old refectory decorated with paintings (Virgin Mary holding the Holy Infant, the parable of the rich and the poor Lazarus) not very important from an artistic point of view. Today the renovated refectory is used as grand reception room. On the same last floor there is also the ossuary and the recently renovated (1971) chapel of St. John the Baptist.
The origin of the name of the Monastery of St. Nicholaos Anapafsas is not ascertained yet. It probably bears the name of one of its early founders at the beginning of the monastic life on this rock around the 14th century. Others connect the origin of the name Anapafsas with the verb “anapavomai” which means “I rest” and this way Anapafsas means a place for rest and refreshment.