Monasteries in Heraklion area

Monastery of Panagia Eleousa


The Monastery of Panagia Kyra Eleousa is located 1.5 km northeast of Voritsi village. Until a few years the monastery was deserted but the care of the monk and the local residents, the monastery has been restored and is active, after many years. The monastery is built on a high and steep hill overlooking the sea and the surrounding area. The architecture is fortress-like form, exploiting the natural fortifications of the region. The main entrance of the monastery is located on the northeast side, and a smaller auxiliary is on the southwest side. In the yard of the monastery there are tall trees and seats where visitors can enjoy the peace and tranquility that the area offers. The monastery was built over an older church, perhaps ancient, as proved by the large stone pillar which is still in the yard. Another stone pillar that was there has been used as a lintel in the south gate, the so-called "Charasani door" which lead to the neighboring village carved.



Monastery of Kalergis


Monastery Kalergis is located about 4 km. Northwest of Kastelli, on a wooded hillside. It was built during the Venetian period, it is dedicated to Agio Ioanni the Baptist and a dependency of the Monastery Vidiani in Plateau. Probably built on an older single position, remains of cells which survived in the nearby church of the Prophet Elijah. The monastery was abandoned during the Turkish occupation to be renovated in 1912 by the Archimandrite Nikiforos Velivasaki and nun Evlampia Dolapsaki. After the death of the renovation (1938) and the destruction of a large part of the olive groves by fire (1931) the monastery was deserted. Today, the monastery renovation work undertaken by the association "Friends of the Monastery Kalergis'


Monastery of Agarathos

 The monastery is dedicated to Virgin Mary and is located on a rocky hill between the villages and Sgourokefali Sabas, 23 km. From Heraklion. But this is one of the oldest monasteries in Crete and was not excluded during the second Byzantine period. Important role played by the monastery during the Turkish siege. In the revolution of 1821 the Turks slaughtered the monks and set fire to buildings. School was established again after 1860, where attended the local children, finally the church was rebuilt in 1894 and by the end of Ottoman rule began a new period of prosperity. In recent years they moved to the monastery young, educated monks, university faculties graduates and regained its former glory. According to tradition, under the tree found the icon because of which the monastery was built and for this reason the tree is considered sacred.


 Monastery of Epanosifis


The Epanosifi monastery is located at an altitude of 480 m., 32 km. From Heraklion and it is one of the largest and richest monasteries in Crete. Developed during the Ottoman period and is dedicated to St. George. The structure of the monastery resembles the popular Cretan architecture of the 17th century with independent cells, built next to each other. In the 1821 revolution offered the precious relics that had to buy weapons for the struggle of independence. But revolution killed 18 monks and monastery was abandoned. Today still lives here a large number of monks, demonstrating the survival of the monastic tradition in Crete.




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