Religious monuments of Malevizi

Agia Pelagia

Agia Pelagia monastery at Ahlada
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The monastery of Saint Pelagia (Agia Pelagia), a dependency of Savvathiana monastery, is located on the side of the stream that ends at the beach of Agia Pelagia. The monastery, dating back from the 13th century, was one of the most important in the Venetian Crete and reported by the greatest travelers of the era. Today it does not operate as a monastery.

The celebration day of Agia Pelagia (October 8) was particularly important for the Venetians. Indeed a decree of 1519 established the October 8th as a statutory holiday. Thousands of people flocked from all over Crete and the Aegean Sea in order to participate in the celebration of Agia Pelagia (till the mid-20th century). The area of Agia Pelagia was then difficult to access, thus many people arrived from Heraklion by boat.

At the edge of the beach of Agia Pelagia, just below the ruins of the ancient town Apollonia, we still see the cave - shrine of Evresi. Here, according to tradition the icon of Saint Pelagia was found. During the feast, hundreds of patients covered their ached hands or legs with sand to be healed, while watching the liturgy at Evresi cave by the abbot of Savvathiana monastery.

The architecture of the monastery is unusual as the monk cells were attached to the temple and not around it. Gerola photographed, in the early 20th century, two coats of arms of Modino or Girardo families that are currently stored in the monastery of Savvathiana. Next to the monastery there is a built winepress, while several meters away we find small rock shelters used by the monks as barns.

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Additional Info

  • Location: Heraklion Prefecture
  • Type: Church
  • Peak Period: Venetian Era (1204 AD - 1669 AD)
  • Accessibility: Paved road

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