In the place of today's Kalambaka, in ancient times, there was the city of Aeginion, which flourished in the Hellenistic and Roman years. The name Aeginion is also attested by an inscription, which is built into the eastern side of the Byzantine church of Saint John the Baptist: "EMPEROR CAESAR LUCION SEVIRON PERTINACUS AND MARCON AURELION ANTONIUS [=CARACALLAN] PARTHIANS, ARABIANS, ADIABENIANS, MAGISTUS, RESPECTED THE CITY OF EIGINION"
Even Strabo (B,2,9) mentions that "Eiginion de omoron Ethikia and Trikki" was the capital of the Tymphaeans.
In 197 BC the Roman general Titus Flamininus marched against Aeginius, but finding it unassailable, left it and advanced to the Thessalian plain. In 192 - 186 BC Aeginion came under the rule of Antiochus III of Syria, but between 186 - 184 BC. it again came under the rule of Philip V of Macedonia, who had allied himself with the Romans. In 146 BC it was finally conquered by the Romans and savagely plundered by the army of Aemilius Paulus the White, because he had refused to submit voluntarily. Here Julius Caesar in 48 BC. he met Gnaeus Domitius, before proceeding to Pharsala to face Pompey.
From the Byzantine years, before the 9th century, the city was called Stagoi, a name that is still preserved today as a metropolitan title (Metropolis of Stagoi and Meteora). In 1163 there is a mention of the castle of Stago. The word Stagoi, according to Pouqueville, is a paraphrase of the phrase to the saints Stagoi. According to the archaeologist Nik. Giannopoulos comes from the Slavic word staja (= chambers or rock pits). According to Dim. Sofiano, none of the proposed interpretations is considered satisfactory and convincing. The newer name Kalambaka appears already from the last Byzantine times. In an official Turkish document of 1454/55 it is mentioned simultaneously as Istagos and Kalambaka (Qualabaqqaya), a name that in Turkish means "Fortress on the top of the rock".
As Stagoi, in the Byzantine era, it became the seat of a diocese (mentioned from 901/7), which with some breaks was maintained until 1899, when it was merged with the diocese of Trikki and they formed the Metropolis of Trikki and Stagon with headquarters in Trikala. It was re-established in 1991 as a diocese with the title Metropolis of Drops and Meteors. In 1204 the Stagoi became part of the Despotate of Epirus, while at the end of the 13th c. they came under the rule of the dukes of New Patras (Ypatis). In 1334 they were occupied by the despot of Epirus John II and a little later they came under the empire of Constantinople. In 1348 they were conquered by the Serbs of Stefanos Dusan and reached their height during the reign of Simeon Uresis Palaiologos' brother.
When Thessaly was occupied by the Turks, Kalambaka was administratively subordinated to the pasha of Meteora, and later to the sanjaki (= general administration) of Trikala and became the seat of Kaimakami (= prefect). The Swedish traveler I. Beardsol (1779) writes that in Stagoi there were 10 Christian churches and no mosque, and also that outside the metropolis there were various ancient and newer inscriptions. During the Turkish occupation it was an important commercial center. Cotton and silk of excellent quality were cultivated and traded in the area.
Kalambaka had close ties with the Chariots of Khasia and Pindus and was often attacked by the Turkalvans, mainly at the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century. In the Thessalian uprising of 1854, it was occupied by the Greek revolutionaries under Christodoulos Hatzipetro and Petropoulakis. On May 1 - 10, 1854, a deadly battle took place in Kalambaka, during which approximately 500 Turks were killed.
Between Kalambaka and Meteora, immersed among the towering meteoric rocks, is Kastraki, a very old village with a rich history. To this day, it maintains many of its old customs, among which is the rope climb to the monastery of Ai-Georgis of Mantila, where the young people of the village hang colorful handkerchiefs and light candles. This is done on the day of the feast of Saint George, after the liturgy. In addition to the monasteries of Meteora, which are located near Kastraki, there are also other old churches of considerable interest. Today, Kastraki is one of the most touristic villages of N. Trikala. It has hotels, several campsites, restaurants, grills, cafes, discos, etc. The preserved old village, with its narrow streets and old houses built with traditional architecture, presents a remarkable picture.
Kalambaka and Kastraki are two of the best known centers of Byzantine Hagiography.