The Monastery of Panagia Kalyviani is located at an altitude of 80m around 60km south of Heraklion, next to Mires and Kalyvia villages. It is a relatively new monastery which was built on the ruins of an older one.
The present church was built in 1873 on the ruins of an older monastery, where the icon of Panagia (Virgin Mary) was found during the same year. The complex of Kalyviani still hosts the old church, and the new temple built in 1924, where the old icon is stored. The new church is three-aisled with its aisles dedicated to the Nativity, the Annunciation and the Assumption of Virgin Mary (celebr. 15 August). Moreover, there is a small church of Saint Haralambos, who was a monk a monk in the monastery, and celebrates on August 23.
Kalyviani is a typical example of a foundation that offers help and charity to poor and needy people. In 1956, the bishop Timothy Papoutsakis created a Christian Foundation based in the monastery. He built an orphanage, hospice, housekeeping school for girls, elementary school, kindergarten, summer camps, workshops of weaving, knitting and making vestments, etc.
- 961-1204: In Byzantine Times, a male monastery dedicated to Panagia was founded at the same position.
- 17th century: After the conquest of Crete by the Turks, the old monastery of Panagia was destroyed. The Turks occupy the region around the church, but the temple is operated by Christians.
- 1821: The church of Panagia is abandoned and collapses.
- 1865: John Margiolakis starts repairing the church, especially the altar. The monastery receives huge reputation after the death of two Turkish children, who desecrated the temple (this was attributed to a miracle) and the Turks try to stop the pilgrims.
- 1873: Matthew Michelinakis finds the icon of the Annunciation in a ruined chapel of the old monastery, dedicated to Life Giving Spring, within the land of the Turkish Vrazerzade Hussein. Christians ask for expropriation of land for the construction of a new monastery, and after great adventures and disputes with the Turks, they buy the land.
- 1911: The construction of the new church with the dome starts.
- 1924: The construction of the new church is complete.
- 1957-58: Timotheos Papoutsakis founds an orphanage, hospice, housekeeping school, elementary school, cutting and sewing schools, workshops for weaving, knitting, making of vestments, printing, a museum etc.
- 1961: The monastery turns to a nunnery and is formally recognized by royal decree.