Two km south of the village Modi by Platanias (Chania) we meet is the cavernous chapel of St. Gerasimos. The location of this beautiful cave is accessed via dirt road that starts from Modi (there are information signs). The cave is located on a hillside that is covered by an ancient olive grove.The temple is built inside the cave, is spacious and has a courtyard along a long rock shelter.
This cave was, according to tradition, used as a hermitage for the monk Gerasimos, the current patron Saint of Cephalonia. Specifically, when he was 49 years old, after he had already pass from Zakynthos, Mount Athos and Israel, he came to Crete. Quickly, he became famous and many people began to visit the cave. This forced him to move to Zanteafter 2 years, before leaving to Kefalonia.
The tidy church, unknown to most locals, is lighted by two large windows. Outside the cave, we see remnants of old monk cells and other rooms. At the entrance of the rock shelter there is a huge carved stone trough where the sacred water gathered by a stalactite. The trough had disappeared for years and came to light after excavations.
Text - Photos Christopher Cheiladakis