The Religious monuments of Crete


The province of Milopotamos hosted many small monasteries and hermitages. The rugged coastline hosted many ascetic centers, which were later moved to the innerland due to the threat of the pirate raids.

Agios Panteleimon Monastery in Fodele

The monastery of Saint Panteleimon is located 25km west of Heraklion and 3km south of Fodele, in a wooded area of ​orange and olive groves. The monastery was built with fortress architecture. Today a part of the walls and the beautiful entrance to the monastery are preserved.


Keramota plane tree

At the picturesque village Keramota in province Mylopotamos we meet one of the several monumental trees of Crete. This is the perennial plane tree at the eastern end of the village. The tree in Keramota belongs to the species of Platanus orientalis and its age is estimated at about 2000 years. It is the oldest tree in province Mylopotamos and although it is located on the main road, almost everyone ignores its existence as it is located a few meters further down the road, thus the drivers see the upper part of it.


Saint Anthony monastery at Pera Galini

Close to the beach of Pera Galini there are the ruins of a former monastery, dedicated to Saint Anthony, from which only the chapel survives. This monastery was probably abandoned and deserted due to the constant pirate raids in the Venetian Era. The monastery is built next to a very interesting river with huge plane trees, which concludes at the beach, however water is contaminated due to the landfill.


Panagia monastery at Astirakias

The deserted monastery of the Assumption (Panagia) at Astirakias is built at an idyllic location on the east side of Arkadi Gorge. This small monastery still saves its main church and some traces of the monk cells, while we will get impressed by the terraces that were used to keep the soil and for cultivation.


Church of the Zoodohos Pigi at Drakonero

The Church of the Zoodohos Pigi (Life Giving Fountain) at position Drakonero functioned as a monastery during the Venetian period. It is the largest cruciform church with a dome of Crete (of that era). Inside the church there is one of the nicest arcosolium (Venetian tomb) of the 16th century with coat of arms of Tzangarolo family. A part of the frescoes still survives (Peter and Paul, Our Lady enthroned etc).


318 Holy fathers monastery at Kalo Chorafi

Here was the former position of 318 Agii Pateres (318 Holy Fathers) seaside monastery. The monastery stopped operating after the increase of pirate raids in early Venetian years. there is only the chapel commemorating that.


Monastery of Christ at Mousses

After following the road that leads from Mourtzana to the deserted settlement of millers, Mousses, we pass by the former Monastery of Christ. The monastery is located on the western side of the valley of the Mousses and retains the church which is built on the basis of an age-old cypress tree. The temple dates back to the Venetian and berars murals. The Monastery of Christ the Savior is deserted since 1864 and was a dependency of the Holy Sepulchre.


Panagia Charakiani church

In the middle of the distance of Heraklion and Rethymnon and just before reaching Bali, right on the highway we meet the church of Panagia (Our Lady) Charakiani. It is the largest pilgrimage in the entire prefecture of Rethymnon. During the first 15 days of August many people gathered, especially on the old days, and stayed in small huts around the temple till the day of the Assumption during which the small church celebrates.


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