The Monastery of

Vidiani

Lassithi

Vidiani Monastery in Lassithi Plateau
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The monastery of Vidiani is located at the foot of the mountain Louloudaki, near the village of Kato Metohi in Lassithi Plateau. Access is very easy, as the peripheral road of the plateau runs just next to it.

The monastery is dedicated to Zoodochos Pigi (Life-Giving Spring) and does not remind anything of the abandoned site of the previous decades. Today the monk cells and the other buildings of the complex have been restored and the monastery operates as male monastery. Flowers are everywhere throughout the summer, while a small fountain in the yard with the huge cypress trees symbolizes the spring of Life. There is also a small café under the tree shade. The monastery hosts a small natural history museum, in collaboration with the University of Crete.

The monastery and the church are not very old as they were built in the 19th century. It is likely to have been built on the ruins of an earlier monastery. The church is stone built with very elaborate masonry, stone carved windows and an exquisitely carved temple.

The area was a dependency of the family Vidon (hence the name Vidiani), who were descendants of a Venetian family that had been given a part of the plateau as a fief.

Timeline

  • 1841: Methodios Petrakis builds the Monastery of the Life Giving Spring, probably on the ruins of an older monastery.
  • 1867: During the Battle of Lassithi, Omer Pasha destroys and burns all the villages of the plateau and the monasteries of Kroustalenia and Vidiani.
  • 1874: The monastery is restored immediately after its destruction.
  • 1884: The abbot of Vidiani monastery, Methodios Perakis, buys the ruined KalergisMonastery by the Muslim Salicha Liatikopoula who had the entire farmland in her possesion.
  • 1943: The Germans execute the abbot of Vidiani, Dorotheos Tsagarakis in Chania, due to his resistance action.
  • 1954: The last monk dies and the monastery gets deserted.
  • 1991: An extended restoration program of Vidiani starts, with reaches its peak a decade later when the monk Dorotheos Kaftakis comes in Vidiani. The museum of Natural History is also founded.

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Additional Info

  • Location: Lassithi Prefecture
  • Type: Monastery
  • Peak Period: Venetian Era (1204 AD - 1669 AD)
  • Accessibility: Paved road
  • Phone: +30 28440 22421, +30 6979 034814

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