Saints Peter and Paul monastery, Rodopos

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Saint sPeter and Paul monastery, Rodopos, Chania, Crete

The Monastery of Peter and Paul is located at Cape Rodopos (or Spatha), 40km northwest of Chania and 12.5 km from the village Rodopou and is reached through a rocky dirt road. With the abbey of Saint John in Giona, a few kilometers earlier, it flourished during the late Venetian rule. Just after the occupation of Crete by the Turks the monastery became a dependency of the powerful Hodeghetria Gonia monastery.

The monastery is not listed in the census of the churches and monasteries of the year 1637 and the evidence for its historical development is minimal. According to tradition, the church is built on the site of an older monastery. The frescoes of the church date from the 11th century and on these there are many carvings of names and dates with the most important: "1607, the last day of October we are here: Mr. Nikolaos Priouli, me John Kiontzas, Doctor of Law and the faithful Francis with many Saints, forty in number. "

In the area there are still buildings of the monastery complex: the Church of Saint Paul, a stone vaulted warehouse with two cisterns, the abbot, an old olive mill, ruins scattered around the temple, and a two pottery warehouses.

Along with the church of St. John Gionas, it forms a single monastic complex, where the monastery of St. Paul was the harbor, the hub of communication and contact through sea routes (there were no roads reaching the place). The carvings of the Crusaders on the frescoes reveal the importance of this monastic center as one of the channels of communication between the West and the Middle East.

The church is a stone building with dome, coated with Byzantine ceramics. The frescoes were painted by the hagiographer Provatas. But they are quite damaged by the passage of time, moisture, Crusaders and other passersby. The traces of the swords of the Crusaders are met in various parts of the church, recording the historical moments.

According to tradition the Apostle Paul passed from this point, while traveling captive to Rome.

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