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.
The exact date of establishment of the monastery is unknown. Some believe that it was founded after 1539, when the monks of the seaside monastery of St. Anthony in Pera Galini were attacked by pirates and moved to the mainland. Indeed, the monastery, except Saint Panteleimon, is also dedicated to Saint Anthony. However, it is probable that there was already the monastery of Saint Panteleimon here, otherwise the name of St. Anthony would have prevailed as the patron of the monastery.
The monastery played an important role in the struggle of the Cretans against the Turks. The Turks, in retaliation, looted and destroyed the monastery several times, but it never stopped operating.
The monastery houses some icons of the 17th century, like the Second Coming of Michael Damascenos, St. Onourfios and All Saints.
- 1537-9: The pirate Hayredin Barbarosa attacks against the coast of Crete. The monks Makarios, Jeremiah and Kosmas of the seaside monastery St. Anthony in Pera Galini are forced to leave the monastery and move to the preexisting monastery of Saint Panteleimon.
- 1660-1670: According to tradition, the monastery was built then,
- 1677: An marble inscription mentions that year.
- 1821: The monastery houses a temporary hospital during the great revolution of 1821.
- 1824: The Turks and Egyptians destroy the monastery.
- 1861: Abbot Neophytos Pediotis starts the restoration works.
- 1866: Abbot Neophytos Pediotis takes part in the Revolution of 1866-69. The monastery is converted to a warehouse for supplies and a shelter for the rebels.
- 1867: The mens of Resit Efendis destroy the monastery.
- 1972: Unfortunately, a large part of the buildings are demolished for the sake of the "modernization" of St Panteleimon. Only two buildings were not levelled.
- 2004: A concerted effort for restoring the historic monastery starts.
- 2006: An earthquake destroys the remaining buildings.