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Destination Crete

The most famous monasteries in Crete for people interested in religion and culture

Holidays on Crete for people interested in religion and culture: Visit famous and lonely monasteries on Crete and admire beautiful holy icons.


Arkadi Monastery

Arkadi Monastery

Arkadi Monastery is one of the top ten in all guidebook charts. But as a really great sight you will only experience it if you know something about its history and let your imagination run wild. Then you will understand why the Arkadi Monastery is considered to be Crete's national sanctuary. Today, three asphalt roads lead up to the small plain at an altitude of 500 m, in the centre of which stands the very fortified monastery.

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Monastery Agia Triada

Founded in 1612, the monastery of the Holy Trinity is situated in a particularly beautiful and photogenic location on the edge of an extremely fertile plain full of vineyards and olive groves. Many interesting icons hang in the church and in the monastery's cellar you can buy many good culinary souvenirs. Already the access road to the monastery announces something special to the visitor: a long avenue of cypresses. The convent then radiates prosperity through its three-storey, multi-window façade with a bell tower built in 1864 above the richly decorated Renaissance portal.

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Monastery Gouverneto

Only 4 km separate the monastery Agia Triada from the monastery Gouverneto. Already the narrow road leading through a low canyon and a mostly barren landscape makes clear: we are now entering another world. The monastery lies completely lonely high above the sea, no village, no other houses are to be seen. A new wall shields the habitat of the pious monks from the outside world.

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Monastery Katholiko

If the thermometer shows no more than 25 degrees, an approximately two-hour hike without any shade from the monastery Gouverneto down to the abandoned rock monastery Katholiko and back again is one of the most beautiful experiences in the west of Crete. The monastery portal is a clear indication that the buildings date from the Venetian period. The façade of the rock church bears clear features of the High Gothic and Renaissance. More impressive than the church is the building, which spans the narrow gorge below the monastery terrace as a bridge.

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Monastery Preveli

The impressive monastery ruins of Kato Preveli are located below the road in the oleander valley of Megalopotamos, which has water all year round. The monastery was founded in the 17th century, but has been uninhabited since its destruction by the Ottomans in the middle of the 19th century. In the convent church of the intact Piso Preveli Monastery, consecrated in 1836, an icon on the iconostasis (i.e. on the picture wall separating the church from the chancel) is particularly worth seeing. In the monastery museum there are numerous other, more artistically valuable icons, mainly from the 17th and 18th centuries.

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Monastery Kardiotissa - Panagia i Kera

The monastery Panagia Kera Kera i Kardiotissa is well signposted on the main road just before the village Kera, which is located at an altitude of 560 m. The complex dates back to the 18th century, the church already to the 14th century. In the monastery courtyard, surrounded by bars, stands a small column carved in one piece. Inside the church, on the iconostasis, hangs a highly venerated and richly decorated icon of the Virgin Mary, together with a piece of coarsely articulated iron chain.

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