Monasteries of Crete

Here there lives on an ancient monastic tradition that blossomed at the end of the Venetian period, producing such achievements as the Cretan School of Iconography. Most monasteries were centres for nurturing freedom during the long and difficult period of Ottoman rule – becoming the guardians of Orthodoxy and Byzantine culture.

Many have shrines with exquisite frescoes – an expression of the development of Byzantine painting on Crete.

From

Halepa Monastery was founded at the end of the era of Venetian rule and, according to documents dating back to 1555, it owned a significant amount of property

  • location Agridia, Milopotamos, Rethimno
  • type Monastery
  • time period Venetian Period

At the southern entrance of the homonymous gorge is located the Saint Agios Nikolaos Monastery, which was the third major monastery of the region of Zaros. Today, is maintained only the small temple of Saint Nikolaos which is going back to the 14th century.

  • location Zaros, Faistos, Irakleio
  • type Monastery
  • time period Modern Period

The Monastery of Asomatoi is dedicated to the Gathering of the Angels. It was built in the 2nd Byzantine period in the style of a fortress. At the end of the 18th century it was the seat of the Bishop of Lambi.   

  • location Vistagi, Amari, Rethimno
  • type Monastery
  • time period 2nd Byzantine Period

It is situated near the village of Kolymbari and it is one of the best preserved monasteries on Crete; it looks like a fort and has a three apse Catholicon church and two chapels. 

  • location Kolymbari, Platanias, Chania
  • type Monastery
  • time period Venetian Period

The monastery is situated at the mouth of Perivolakia Gorge. Its catholicon is a cavernous, two-aisled church dedicated to Saint John and the Holy Trinity; the monastery’s other buildings spread out around it. 

  • location Kalo Nero, Ierapetra, Lasithi
  • type Monastery
  • time period Venetian Period

Vrontisi Monastery,  located northwest of Zaros, is one of the most renowned and important monasteries on Crete, serving as a noteworthy centre for letters and arts during the Cretan Renaissance and the scholars, artists and venerable monks of Vrontisi Monastery sealed the era with their presence during the final centuries of the era of Venetian rule.

  • location Zaros, Faistos, Irakleio
  • type Monastery
  • time period 2nd Byzantine Period, Venetian Period
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