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.

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Vidiani Monastery was founded in the mid-19th century by monk Methodius. During the revolution of 1866, the Monastery was set on fire by the Ottomans, but it was soon rebuilt. 

  • location Metochi, Lasithi Plateau, Lasithi
  • type Monastery
  • time period Ottoman Period, Modern Period

Kera Eleoussa Monastery is located on a hill near Voritsi village and is a glebe of Agarathos Monastery. 

  • location Voritsi, Chersonissos, Irakleio
  • type Monastery
  • time period Venetian Period

Kera Kardiotissa Convent is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, as are most Cretan monasteries. This is a very old convent that became renowned thanks to the 'miraculous' icon of Panagia Kardiotissa, to which reference is made in manuscripts from 1333.

  • location Kera, Chersonissos, Irakleio
  • type Monastery
  • time period 2nd Byzantine Period

The Monastery of Chrysoskalitissa is built on a rock at the south-west end of Crete. The church of the monastery is dedicated to Mother Mary and the Holy Trinity and its feast is held on August 15 (Dekapendavgoustos). 

  • location Elafonissi, Kisamos, Chania
  • type Monastery
  • time period Ottoman Period

Kallergis Monastery was built during the era of Venetian rule. It is dedicated to Saint John the Baptist and it is a glebe of Vidiani Monastery of the Lassithi Plateau. 

  • location Kasteli, Minoa Pediadas, Minoa, Irakleio
  • type Monastery
  • time period Venetian Period

Agarathos Monastery, one of the oldest monasteries on Crete (founded during the 2nd Byzantine era), is dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

  • location Sgourokefali, Minoa, Irakleio
  • type Monastery
  • time period 2nd Byzantine Period, Venetian Period
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