The Monastery of



Panagia Kroustallenia in Lassithi Plateau
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The Monastery of Panagia Kroustallenia is built on a small hill covered with oak trees near the villages of Agios Konstantinos and Marmaketo in Lassithi Plateau. It is one of the most historical monasteries of Crete and is always worth a visit.

According to the tradition, the name of the monastery is taken either after the first founder of it, named Kroustallenia, or after an icon of Panagia (Vigin Mary) that was found in a nearby cave and was carved on crystal (Kroustalenia means also made of crystal - glass).

The main temple is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and celebrates on August 15. The monastery complex consists mainly of buildings of the 20th century, as the monastery was destroyed several times during the Turkish occupation.


  • 1241: The Orthodox monastery is founded (some believe that it is even older, built in 961-1204).
  • 1273: After the revolution of Hortatsis that broke out in Lassithi and was spread to the north coastline of Crete, the jubilant Cretan winners return to the plateau and camp in the area of Kroustallenia.
  • 1293: The Venetians evacuate the Plateau for two centuries as it was a center of revolutionary activity. The monastery was deserted and destroyed.
  • 1543: The abbess of Panagia Spileou in Peloponnese, Palladia Danasi, comes to Crete and re-founds the monastery of Kroustallenia, while the plateau is re-inhabited.
  • 1545: The abbess of Santa Marina in Kalavrita, Theokliti Danasi (sister of Palladia), founds the monastery of Agia Pelagia near Kroustallenia.
  • 1583: The monastery of Agia Pelagia stops operating. Almost nothing is preserved, apart from the temple close to the artificial reservoir of Agios Konstantinos.
  • 1821: The abbot Gervasios participates actively in the Struggle against the Turks.
  • 1823: The Egyptian Hassan Pasha occupies the monastery and, after looting, destroys it completely.
  • 1862: The monastery is renovated and operates again.
  • 1866: The Revolutionary Committee settles in Kroustalenia and creates a workshop for gunpowder.
  • May 29, 1867: After the Battle of Lassithi, the Turks destroy the monastery and all the villages of the Plateau.
  • 1850: An elementary school for children of nearby villages is founded.
  • 1925: The elementary school stops working, as new ones are established in each village.
  • 1941-1944: The Germans evict the monks that helped the guerrillas and turn the monastery into a pool of prisoners. The abbot Ermolaos Kasapakis is imprisoned twice.

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Additional Info

  • Location: Lassithi Prefecture
  • Type: Monastery
  • Peak Period: Venetian Era (1204 AD - 1669 AD)
  • Accessibility: Bus services
  • Phone: +30 28440 22179, +30 6977948958
  • Fax: +30 28440 22230

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