Religious monuments of Malevizi

Kavallara

Panagia Kavallara monastery
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The monastery of Panagia Kera Kavallaras operated as a dependency of Dionysiou Monastery at Athos in the 15th century and was dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The temple of the ruined monastery is well maintained, but has undergone many alterations. The location oversees the plains of Malevizi and Heraklion.

The monastery was destroyed probably during the Cretan War (War of the Turks against the Venetians in order to conquer Crete before 1669), but it could have operated until 1821. During the German occupation the rebel group of Anthony Grigorakis (called Satan) by Krousonas gathered here.

The restored temple bears some fragments of frescoes of the 17th century, attributed to the painter Merkourios. Kavallaras name was rather linked to the founder of the monastery (in 1581 there was a monk named Kavallaros). According to a second version, the name Kavallaras (i.e. rider) is associated with the feast of the Flight into Egypt, where the Virgin Mary seated on a donkey holding the Christ and accompanied by Joseph. Indeed, the monastery celebrates on that day (day after Christmas) but because of the bad weather of winter, the monastery celebrates also on the Friday after Easter (Life Giving Spring).

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Additional Info

  • Location: Heraklion Prefecture
  • Type: Church
  • Accessibility: Dirt track

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