Panagia Monastery


Panagia Keralimeniotissa Monastery
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Next to Faflagos beach there was the monastery of Agios Prokopios (Saint Procopius), which was once destroyed by the Arabs. Thus, the monks decided to leave the shore and build (in 855) a new monastery dedicated to Virgin Mary (Panagia), at a very well hidden place, not visible from the sea. The church of the monastery of Panagia Keralimeniotissa (i.e. Virgin Mary – The Lady of the Ports), as it is called, still stands imperious at the same point near the gorges Xerofarago and Panagia.

There is a legend about the monastery that once pirates that accidentally arrived in the area, looted various relics and left on their ships. The monks invoked the help of the Virgin Mary to punish them for their act. Thus, a great storm broke out and the pirates started to apologize and promise to make amends for what they had done wrong. They also promised to protect the monastery from other pirates. Indeed, the weather calmed down and the pirates returned. A few years later, they returned to the area to offer a gold bell and a silver boat with the Virgin Mary at the helm, which read "To the Lady of the Ports". Since then, all ships stopped in the area to pray to the "Lady of the Ports" and the monastery acquired the current name of Keralimeniotissa. Inside the temple, below the lime layer, there are frescoes.

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Additional Info

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

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