Saint George Monastery at


Saint George Monastery in Vrachasi
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The monastery of Saint George (Agios Georgios) in Vrachasi is located 1km southwest of the village Vrachasi, near Neapolis. Today it is uninhabited, but several monk cells, the central church, the dining room, the olive oil mill, the bakery and some other buildings have been restored. The second aisle of the two-aisled church is dedicated to Saint Demetrius (Agios Dimitrios). On the south side of the temple there is a wonderful relief depicting Saint George killing the dragon, above the names of the founders Ioakim and Makarios.

The interior hosts a wonderful carved wooden iconostasis (templon) adorned by the famous wood carvers from Mesa Lasithi, Markakis brothers. On the north side of the wall, there are very old frescoes, dating back in the 14th century, that is much earlier than the first recorded abbacy of Ioakim Kontoioannis in 1549. In fact, the prosperity of the monastery dates back to the 16th century, when the imposing bell tower (1558) was built and the second aisle of Saint Demetrius (1592) was added.. The monastery has actively participated in the revolutionary movements against the Turks, during which it suffered tremendous damages.


  • 961: The (later) Byzantine emperor Nikephoros Phokas founds the monastery, after the liberation of Crete from the Arabs.
  • 1365-1367: The Venetians burn the church during the revolution of Kallergis in Lassithi, as the rebels found shelter here during their moves to/from the plateau.
  • 1540: The monk Gideon rebuilds the church of St. George above the ruins of the old church.
  • 1558: The second aisle of St. Demetrius is built.
  • 1770: During the revolution of Daskalogiannis, the abbot Gabriel is hanged by the Turks in Candia for his revolutionary action. The estates of the monastery get confiscated and the locals buy them (so as to return them later, in 1859).
  • 1820: The Turks kill 19 monks of Saint George and destroy the monastery, because the rebels operated a gunpowder mill here.
  • 1823: During a battle near the monastery, John Sfakianakis Michelidakis is killed.
  • 1859: The abbot Manidopateras reconstructs the monastery and the residents return its estates.
  • 1866: Konstantinos Sfakianakis, the son of John Sfakianakis, starts his revolutionary movements from here.
  • 1875: The monk Anthimos rebuilds the monastery and the brothers Makrakis construct the wooden iconostasis.
  • 1909: The monastery stops operating forever.
  • 1940: The Greek rebels use St. George as a hideout against the Germans.

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Additional Info

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

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