Religious Monuments of


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 Ano Mirabello were originally developed around monasteries. Almost all monasteries today do not operate, but their churches have survived.

Panagia Kera church at Kritsa

One of the most popular Byzantine monuments in Crete (13th- 14th A.D.) is located in Logari, one kilometre east of Kritsa. This triple-nave Byzantine church is dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, to Saint Anthony and Saint Anna. It is adorned with superb wall paintings on particular themes like the representation of Saint Anna, other icons of the saints, and the fourteen scenes depicting the secret life of the Virgin Mary.

Prophet Elijah church at Skinias (Vigla)

The church of Prophet Elias is located north of the village of Skinias, in a clearing next to the Venetian watchtower 'Yialos head'. This was once the location of a small monastery, which is currently not occupied.


Analipsis church at Elounda

The Monastery of the Ascension is located at Poros of Elounda, at the site of the ancient town of Olous, today submerged in the lagoon. On Ascension Day the locals revive a weird custom. Women from Elounda enter the sea and collect bunches of seaweed and stones, which symbolize the stability of life.


Church of Saint Nicholas at Agios Nikolaos (Ormos)

The Early Byzantine Chapel of St. Nicholas, the patron saint of the Greek sailors, has given its name to the entire city (Agios Nikolaos means Saint Nicholas in Greek). The chapel was built on the edge of Cape Nissi by Katholiko beach, after the seventh century and is one of the oldest ones in Crete.


Saint Peter monastery at Vrahassi

The church of St. Peter near Vrachasi was the temple of a small monastery that operated here in the 17th century, on the site of a preexisting temple of the 14th century. We can discern traces of walls and a water mill (the area had a lot of water so it is very green).


Church of Saint Paraskevi at Koulbado

One of the most important churches used in the past for burying unbaptized babies is located by Kritsa, at position Koulbado. This temple is also very important as it is a single-aisle temple, probably built in the Byzantine Era (indicated by the typical ceramic bricks met in Byzantine churches).


Saint John the Evangelist, Kritsa

The settlement of St. John the Evangelist, whose core was the former monastic complex of the monastery of St. John, is situated between the villages Kritsa and Kroustas. According to local tradition the monastery was founded in the second Byzantine period and it is known that it functioned until the late 19th century.


Early Christian Basilica of Kolokitha

Very close to the beach Kolokitha we meet the ruins of an early Christian basilica (5-6th century) that came to light in 1971 by the archaeologist Manolis Borboudakis. There is also a tiny lovely beach aside. We see scattered pieces of marble capitals, the pulpit and the gates, and the mosaic floors that have been completely destroyed by the sea.


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