The Monastery of

Chrysopigi

Chania

Chrysopigi Monastery
(8 votes)

Chrysopigi monastery is located 3km south of Chania city. Its temple belongs to the architecture Mount Athos triconch with dome and is dedicated to the Panagia Zoodochos Pigi (Live Giving Virgin Mary) (celebr. on Friday after Easter). Thousands of believers arrive here to honor the miraculous icon of Virgin Mary. The complex of the monastery has an elongated rectangle shape with its temple in the center. The nuns' cells and the other buildings are built around the temple and their outer sides form a fortification wall. In the northern part of the wall there is the arched gate of the monastery.

Over the centuries the monastery has experienced periods of booms and declines. It suffered many attacks and severe damages from the Turkish and German conquerors of Crete. The monastery since 1976 operates as a female nunnery. Today the nuns are involved in painting, preservation of old books and icons, book binding and the ecclesiastical embroidery. The monastery is renowned for its ecological and environmental actions. The nuns cultivate organically around 130 acres of land with olive, tangerine, orange, avocado, fig, apricot trees and vegetable gardens. From the products, they mainly sell organic oil so as to promote organic farming. Organic wastes of the monastery are converted into compost for using as fertilizers, while the rest are recycled. Moreover, the nuns run environmental education programs for schoolchildren from all over Europe!

The monastery of Chrysopigi also owes the restored monastery of Agia Kyriaki in Varypetro, which houses the Orthodoxy and Ecology Center where educational programs are conducted. Also, church and folklore museums operate in Chrisopigi, open daily from 8:00 to 12:00 and from 15:30 to 18:00. The church museum exhibits old icons, sacred vessels, ecclesiastical gold embroidery of the 18th 19th century, crosses, blessings, books, official documents and woodworks. On the other side, the folklore museum exhibits works of folk embroidery, traditional costumes, samples of secular and ecclesiastical woodwork, photographs, paintings, traditional agricultural tools, etc.

Apart from the church of Zoodochos Pigi, the monastery houses the chapels dedicated to St. John the Theologian (celebr. on September 26 and May 8), St. Catherine (25 November), St. Haralambos (10 February), St John Kalivitis (15 January) and St Arsenios from Cappadocia (10 November). Furthermore, the Monastery of Agia Kyriaki (7 July) houses the church of the Transfiguration (6 August) and is close to the cavernous chapels of St. Anthony (17 January), the Holy Seven Children (4 August), Saint Silouan the Athonite (24 September) and the Martyrs of Crete (23 June).

Timeline

  • Late 16th century: The doctor and philosopher Ioannis Chartofylakas founds the monastery of Chrysopigi at the site of an older one.
  • 1612: Chartofylakas dies and the monastery declines till 1630, when capable monks arrive here.
  • 1637: The monastery of Agia Kyriaki near Varypetro becomes a dependency of the monastery of Chrisopigi.
  • 1645: During the Turkish Occupation of Chania, 34 monks guided by the abbot Filotheos Skoufos fight at the side of the Venetians.
  • 1645: The monastery becomes Stavropegic (directly managed by the Patriarch) so as to get protected.
  • 1692: The Venetian commander Domenico Motsenigo tries to reconquer Chania. In order the Turks not to find shelter in the monastery, the Venetians destroy it!
  • 1706: The monastery is reconstructed by 5 monks of the Kapsalonis family.
  • 1821: During the Greek revolution, the monks fight against the Turks guided by the abbot Anthimos Katsifaris. The Turks kill all monks, except Ioannis Halis and destroy the monastery.
  • 1830: The monastery gets reconstructed till 1843.
  • 1848-54: Abbot Nikodimos repairs Zoodochos Pigi temple.
  • 1863: The chapels of Agia Ekaterini and Agios Ioannis are added to the temple.
  • 1941-1944: During the Second World War, the monastery is converted to German Headquarters. The monks are expelled and the Germans cause severe damages to the monastery.
  • 1976: Chrisopigi turns to a nunnery. Restoration works start.
  • 1993: The monastery starts the restoration of Agia Kyriaki.

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Additional Info

  • Location: Chania Prefecture
  • Type: Monastery
  • Peak Period: Venetian Era (1204 AD - 1669 AD)
  • Accessibility: Paved road
  • Website: www.imx.gr
  • K2_EXTRA_EMAIL: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Phone: +30 28210 91125, +30 28210 29840
  • Fax: +30 28210 97600

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