Lord Christ Monastery

Kaloidena

Kaloidena Monastery at Ano Meros
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Above the village Ano Meros at north Kedros mount there is the old uninhabited Monastery of Kaloidena with the restored Byzantine temple dedicated to the Transfiguration of the Lord Christ (Sotiras Cristos). Today, apart from the church and some deserted monk cells, almost nothing reminds the monastery.

Like most monasteries, Kaloidena is located in a beautiful setting with tall plane trees, lush vegetation, spring water and with spectacular views of Psiloritis Range. The water is said to be one of the coldest around Rethymno prefecture.

A phenomenon that happens in the plane trees of the monastery Kaloidena is the "twinning" of branches: smaller and stronger branches merge with heavier, forming a strong network of branches, supporting the weight of the trees.

Around the monastery locals have built stone tables for the two weeks of the Dormition (August 1-15th). On August 6th, the residents of Ano Meros and Fourfouras meet at the monastery and a local feast takes place after the divine service.

The name seems to come from the first owner of the monastery, Kaloidas, as this surname was known to Fourfouras during the Venetian period.

Timeline

  • 13th-14th century: Someone named Kaloidas founds the monastery
  • 1577: The medievalist Barozzi mentions the monastery Caloidhena in his documents
  • Ottoman Era: The monastery continues its operation under the protection of the family Varouchas from Amari.
  • 1821: The monks participate at the revolutions against the Turks.
  • 1823: The Turks destroy the monastery, like all monasteries of Amari area. The temple is preserved but the monastery gets deserted.
  • 1830-1840: During the Egyptian occupation of Crete, many monasteries in Crete operate again but Kaloidena remains deserted. It later reoperates.
  • 1893: The Bishop of Lambi Methodius is assassinated and the murder is attributed to the abbot of the monastery Kaloidena, Farados.
  • 1992: The temple collapses after a rain.
  • 2001: The church gets restored, retaining its original architecture.

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Additional Info

  • Location: Rethymnon Prefecture
  • Type: Church
  • Accessibility: Paved road
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