The Monastery of



Arsaniou Monastery
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Arsaniou monastery is located near Pagalochori village, 11km east of Rethymnon, in a location with panoramic views of the Cretan Sea. The church of the monastery is dedicated to Saint George and is a cruciform basilica with a dome. A museum and a conference center operate in the complex.

The name of the monastery is, probably, taken after a monk named Arsenios. According to another aspect, the name comes either from Arsinoe, a woman who devoted her fortune to build the monastery, or the Cape of Arsinoon.


  • 16th century: The monk Arsenios founds the male monastery of Arsanios.
  • 1600: Inauguration of the church of St. George (the oldest church).
  • 1601: A manuscript refers to the monastery of Arsanios
  • 1646: The Turks occupy Rethymnon and, probably, the monastery is deserted.
  • 1655: The Bishop Neophytos Patelaros grants the monastery to the Patriarchate.
  • 1740: The monastery is no longer managed by the Patriarch.
  • 1778: The Patriarchate restores the stavropegic (patriarchal) status of Arsaniou.
  • 1850: The stavropegic status is renewed.
  • 1856: The cells of the monastery's collapse from a strong earthquake.
  • 1866: The Turks destroy what they can from the monastery, due to the revolutionary activities of the monks.
  • 1888: The new Church of St. George is built on the ruins of the old church.
  • 1896: The Turks burn and plunder the monastery.
  • 1897: The Turks kill the monk Gabriel Klados. They hang his head on a tree of Rethymnon town and practice on shooting!
  • 1900: The monastery is declared as about to stop its operation.
  • 1903: The monastery of Arsaniou is reconstituted.
  • 1935: Arsaniou is declared preservable. It's granted the smaller monasteries of Agia Irini and Chalevi.
  • 1941: During the Second World War, the Germans kill the abbot Damianos Kallergis for offering help to the guerrillas.
  • 1970: The monastery gets renovated.
  • 1988-90: The main temple is decorated with frescoes. The museum and the conference center are founded.

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Additional Info

  • Location: Rethymnon Prefecture
  • Type: Monastery
  • Peak Period: Venetian Era (1204 AD - 1669 AD)
  • Accessibility: Paved road
  • Phone: +30 28310 71228

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