Monuments & Sights of Crete

Numerous monuments, big and small, can be seen scattered in urban, coastal and inland areas of Crete: Venetian fortresses and castles, Byzantine churches, Turkish mosques, monuments of vernacular architecture and other noteworthy buildings, as well as locations which have left their mark in the history of the island, or others that were marked themselves by the conquerors who ruled in the island, down the centuries. 


The Monastery of Panagia Vriomeni (the Virgin) used to be one of the most important monastic centres of Ierapetra. 

  • location Meseleri, Ierapetra, Lasithi
  • type Abandoned Monastery
  • site condition/facilities Open-Well preserved

At an altitude of 2.456 metres, the chapel of the True Cross (Timios Stavros) perpetuates the ancient practice of worship in peak sanctuaries. The dry-stone chapel, which has the shape of a violin case, consists of two circular rooms: one for the accommodation of worshippers and another, the main one, for worship. 

  • location Psiloritis, Amari, Rethymno
  • type Church
  • site condition/facilities Open-Well preserved

The area was named after the fortress built there by theVenetians in1371, in order to control the area. It is believed that building materials from an ancient city of the region were used for the construction. Near the fortress there are theruins of a monastery and a church of Saint Nicetas (Agios Nikitas), celebrated on September 15th

  • location Fragkokastelo, Sfakia, Chania
  • type Castle
  • site condition/facilities Open-Well preserved

Perhaps the most typical characteristic of the Lassithi Plateau is its windmills. In the past they numbered thousands, making up a magnificent landscape. One can see the first windmills as one passes through the main entrance to the plateau, on the Ambelos side. There are 26 flour mills, stone-built on a ridge, flankingtheentrancetotheplateau, whichwere constructed after the great Cretan Revolution of 1866-’69 and were the sole flour industries of the region until World War II.

  • location Seli Ampelou, Lasithi Plateau, Lasithi
  • type Architecture
  • site condition/facilities Open-Well preserved

The settlement of Samaria was named after a chapel of Osia Maria, located near a cave; there, according to the popular tradition, the lesser saint Osia Maria from Egypt led a secluded life. According to another story, a young woman known as the Hrissomaloussa (= golden-haired) of the Skordilis family went to live there by herself, after she was disgraced by the Venetians. 

  • location Gorge of Samaria, Sfakia, Chania
  • type Other type
  • site condition/facilities Open-Well preserved

The Byzantine chapel of Saint Paul (Agios Pavlos) is located east of Agia Roumeli, within a walking distance of approximately 30 minutes, along the E4 path. It was built in the 11th century AD next to the sea, on a site where, according to tradition, the Apostle Paul came ashore during his voyage to Rome. 

  • location Agia Roumeli (Saint Paul's beach), Sfakia, Chania
  • type Church
  • site condition/facilities Open-Well preserved

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