The male monastery of Saint George Selinaris is built in the heart of the gorge Selinari, near Vrachasi village and Neapolis. Next to the monastery passes the National Road connecting Heraklion to Agios Nikolaos, which is the main reason why Selinaris receives many visitors daily. For the Cretans it is considered bad luck to cross the canyon without stopping at St. George. This has prevailed since the past, when the travellers stopped here to rest with their animals.
According to tradition, a monk from Rhodes, named Nikolaos, was led by God to a place where he found the icon of St. George and thus he built a church. Nikolaos lived at Selinari till his death, when he was buried in a small cave at the top of Anavlohos mount, which was carved by him. Several years after his death, when a boat from Rhodes visited Crete, the sailors were led by a shining star to the tomb of Nikolaos. They understood that it was a divine hint and transferred his bones to Rhodes. Anavlohos cave is located on the east side of the gorge, just opposite the monastery, and you can locate the exact position by looking up the gorge walls and see a big cross. The cave is accessible on foot, but climbing the steep path requires good physical condition.
Finally, during the Ottoman Era, the Turks probably tried to destroy the monastery, as it is evidenced by the three bullets that have stuck in the old icon of Saint George, which Is also considered miraculous.
It is worth stopping at the monastery and admiring the beauty of the lush canyon and cool off at the local spring. The monks are very friendly and ready to tell you the history of the monastery. The main body of the central church is modern, while the chapel of St. George (the initial temple built by Nikolaos) has also modern wall paintings. Here also operates a modern nursing home that has been built on the ruins of the old cells of the monastery.
- 10th Century: The first monastery is founded.
- 1538: The pirate Barbarossa totally destroys it
- 1552: After the conquest of Rhodes by the Turks, the Rhodian monk Nikolaos comes at Selinari and builds the Church of St. George.
- 1934: The surroundings of the monastery are reformed.
- 1961: Next to the old temple, a modern one is built and the church of the monastery takes its current form.