Asomati Monastery at

Amari

Asomati Monastery in Amari
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The monastery of Asomati is located 35km southeast of Rethymnon, amid a verdant valley of Amari formed between Kedros Mount and Ida Range. The church of the monastery is dedicated to the Archangels (= Asomati).

The monastery was probably founded in the second Byzantine period, as a local document of the 13th century refers to the monastery of the Archangel Michael. The monastery is also known as Asomati School, as an agricultural college operates here since 1930. Today the monastery is being renovated, while it houses a research department of the National Agricultural Research Foundation with livestock interests.

The complex was surrounded by massive walls, which made it a powerful fortress and attracted the rebels from the region. Indeed, the monastery was the basis of Chortatzis rebel family and even today you can see the grave of Georgios Hortatzis outside the nearby Byzantine church of Agia Paraskevi with the murals of the 13th century.

The monastery was destroyed several times by the Turks. In 1812 it is said that Osman Pasha received communion in the monastery. He was sent by the Sultan to stop janissaries from ripping Christians and it is said that he was secretary of the Patriarchate.

In the temple, you can see the icons of the Trinity (1619) and the Archangels, work of Abbot Manasseh (1755).

Timeline

  • 961-1204: The Archangel Michael Monastery is founded.
  • 1272-78: Georgios Hortatzis settles in the monastery and starts the Revolution of Chortatzis against the Venetians.
  • 1810: A strong earthquake destroys the monastery, which is restored.
  • 1812: The envoy of the Turks in Crete against janissarism, Osman Pasha, secretly receives communion in Asomati.
  • 1818: The Turks burn the abbey, due to the revolutionary activity of the monks.
  • 1821: The Turks destroy the monastery completely and slaughter the abbot Gerasimos.
  • 1823: The monastery still houses rebels and is re-destroyed.
  • 1833: In the Egyptian Era (1831-41), the Monastery gets restored and reoperates.
  • 1866: In the revolution of 1866-69, the monastery becomes a revolutionary center. The monks join the rebel groups of Amari province, despite the orders of Bishop Paisios to "welcome" the Turkish Army and leave it to “calm” the region.
  • 1868: Kostaros Voloudakis edits and signs a letter to the Queen of England, asking her help for the Cretans.
  • 1930: The Agricultural school of Asomati starts its operation.
  • 1935: The monastery is declared not operationable.

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Additional Info

  • Prefecture: Rethymnon
  • Type: Monastery
  • Accessibility: Paved road

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