Religious Monuments of Malevizi


Saint Anthony monastery at Petali
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Just outside the village of Kato Asites in province Malevizi and in the area of the village Sarchos, near the point where the rich cultivated terraces join the mountainous massif of Psiloritis, we find the picturesque and green area ​​Petali. This truly privileged area was chosen centuries ago by the Christians to build the monastery of Saint Anthony (Agios Antonios) in Petali.

According to tradition, the name of the area Petali comes from the sound made by the pedals of the loom, since the monastery was female and the nuns weaved on the loom. The point is ideal because it is very close to a spring with cold water that flows all year round, which came out of the fountain built at the entrance of the monastery.

The Monastery of Agios Antonios was two-aisled with the second aisle dedicated to the Virgin Mary (Panagia) and was a dependency of the nearby Monastery of Saint George (Agios Georgios) Gorgolainis. Today the church has collapsed and its ruins are preserved, especially the southern wall of the aisle of Saint Anthony, while the aisle of Panagia has completely collapsed. The collapse of the monastery as well as many other monuments of the same period was probably caused by the earthquake of 1856.

The foundation of the monastery must be placed in the period of Venetian rule in Crete, around 1636, when small and large monasteries sprang up in every corner of Crete. According to one option, the aisle of Panagia was built as a single nave around the 13th century, while the aisle of Saint Anthony was added two centuries later.

Observing today the remains of the temple, the visitor can understand its prosperity. The part of the aisle of Saint Anthony that has not collapsed has a series of ornate windows of unique beauty. A little further from the temple there are ruins of the cells and rooms of the monastery, all destroyed.

This truly magnificent monument is still eagerly awaiting the state to turn its attention to it, so that its restoration work can start. Saint Anthony in Kato Asites celebrates on January 17th, every year. To reach the area of ​​the monument, one must follow a dirt road from Kato Asites.

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Additional Info

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

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