Religious Monuments of

Mirabelo

The province of Mirabello hosted small monasteries with the greatest density than any other region of Crete. It is characteristic that in the small area of Upper (Ano) Mirabello, i.e. the mountainous area north of Neapolis, over 20 small monasteries were developed.

Unlike other areas of Crete, where asceticism was developed in caves, here we meet mostly small monasteries where 2-3 monks lived together. Indeed, many current settlements in Upper Mirabello were originally developed around monasteries. Almost all monasteries today do not operate, but their churches have survived.

Saint Andrew monastery in Finokalias

The monastery of St. Andrew was built long ago in one of the most isolated shores of the Mirabello Province, near Finokalia village. Today the old monastery does not survive, but a small church of St. Andrew has been built at the same site.

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Kardamoutsa Monastery

The male monastery of Timios Stavros (Holy Cross) in Kardamoutsa is built very close to the village Karydi, at an altitude of 540m. Although the surrounding area is dry and rocky, there are many trees, especially hollies. At the entrance of the monastery you will see a huge oak tree, where according to tradition, whoever cuts a branch loses his hand.

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Areti Monastery in Karydi

The Monastery of the Holy Trinity in Areti is located next to the village Karydi (close to Neapolis) in a dry and isolated area of Mirabello province. Along with the neighboring Kardamoutsa monastery, they were the most important monasteries of the area (This area has the most monasteries than any other place in Crete).

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St. George Selinaris monastery

The male monastery of Saint George Selinaris is built in the heart of the gorge Selinari, near Vrachasi village and Neapolis. Next to the monastery passes the National Road connecting Heraklion to Agios Nikolaos, which is the main reason why Selinaris receives many visitors daily.

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Koufi Petra Monastery near Neapolis

The monastery of the Virgin Mary «of the hollow stone» (Greek: Panagia Koufis Petras) is dedicated to the Annunciation. It is located west of Kremasta Monastery and at a short distance from Neapolis.

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Kremasta Monastery near Neapolis

The Monastery of Kremasti or Kremasta is located south of Neapolis town, on the road connecting the town to the village Vrisses, at a position overlooking Neapolis. It is built with forting architecture on a steep wooded hillside of the Mount Kavalaras and gives the impression that it’s hanging, a phenomenon to which the monastery owes its name (Kremasti means hanging).

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Monastery of Saint George in Xera Xyla

The monastery of Xera Xyla is located in the province of Mirabello, near the village Kourounes. The central temple is dedicated to Saint George and today is uninhabited. The complex consists of the domed church of St. George, surrounded by several fortress-like cells and a two-storey building.

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Monastery of Transfiguration in Keramos

The Monastery of the Transfiguration or Lord Christ in Keramos area, near Fourni village, is built inside a beautiful grove of cypress and pine trees in an otherwise dry region. Today the monastery is not inhabited and most of its buildings are deserted and ruined.

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