The Religious monuments of Crete


The province of Rethymnon still hosts a large number of monasteries and inactive convents that mostly flourished during the Venetian Era, i.e. before the Fall of Rethymnon in 1646 by the Ottomans. The area around the current city was a very important religious center.

Saint Anastasia the Roman monastery

The Monastery of St. Anastasia the Roman, the first in Greece monastery dedicated to Her, was founded in 2008 and started its operation in July 2009. Apart from the main church of St. Anastasia, there is the chapel of St. Kosmas the Aetolian.


Agia Irini Monastery at Rethymnon

The Monastery of Aghia Irini (Santa Irene) is built at an altitude of 260m at the foot of Mount Vrisinas, about 5km south of Rethymnon. It operates as a nunnery and is one of the oldest monasteries in Crete, built before 1362.


Afendis Christos in Koumbes

The convent of Jesus Christ (Christ the Savior) is built on the hill of Timios Stavros, in the west suburb of Rethymnon called Koumbes. The monastery was probably initially founded during the Venetian period, like several monasteries and temples in the region.


Profitis Ilias Monastery at Roustika

The Monastery of Prophet Elijah (Profitis Elias) is built above a hill with panoramic views, 20km south of Rethymno, next to Roustika village. It is a relatively unknown monastery throughout Crete, although it was founded in the Venetian Era and belongs to the most historic convents on the island.


Saint Peter Monastery at Gallos

The monastery of Saints Peter and Paul is located at the settlement of Gallos, near the University of Crete. The restored monastery, for which there is no surviving information about its history, is a dependency of the Monastery of Arkadi.


Nerantze Mosque (Odeon of Rethymnon)

According to certain Venetian maps and the excavation reports the monastery had a rectangular plan with the cells arranged around the church. Today only the church is preserved with its original plan altered because of its conversion to a mosque and the addition of a chapel at the west.


Halevi Monastery at Chromonastiri

Panagia Halevi monastery is located about 6km south of Rethymnon, on the way to Chromonastiri. It's another Venetian monastery of Crete, which is deserted and surely worth restoring.


Panagia church at Saitoures

The Temple of Panagia in Saitoures, Rethymnon, is dedicated to the Birth of the Virgin Mary and is built at the entrance of the village Saitoures. Its interior walls bear frescoes of the 13th-14th century, among which stand out these depicting sinners in hell. Basilicata reports in 1630 that in the middle of the village there was an old Orthodox church, the Virgin Mary, where there was an iron cross covered in silver, bound with an iron chain, which was used for healing the frenzy and the demonic spirits.


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