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Monasteries on Crete
Crete's monastic heritage is immense and reflects the passion with which the Cretans have celebrated their Orthodoxy for over 1600 years. Approximately 97% of the inhabitants of Crete belong to the Greek Orthodox religion.
Monks and Nuns still practice a monastic life in hundreds of Monasteries and Convents around Crete. Visitors are welcome to visit most of the monasteries and convents and visiting hours are normally displayed near the entrance to the monastery.
Agia Triada Monastery, Chania
The Monasteries and Convents
The oldest monastery on Crete is the Katholikon on the Akrotiri Peninsula in the Prefecture of Chania. Now deserted, this monastery dating from the second Byzantine period, built during the 11th Century, is magnificently situated on the cliffs above a small beach. While some monasteries are now deserted others continue to thrive. Some monasteries have just one monk in residence who will tend to all the duties of that establishment including church services and looking after the beautiful gardens which monasteries are usually surrounded by.
Chrysokalitissa Monastery, Chania
Listed below are just some of the monasteries around Crete arranged by the Area/Prefecture in which they are located.
Monastery of Toplou, Kapsa Monastery, Monastery of Panagia Faneromeni, Aretiou Monastery, Monastery of Kristalenias, Vidiani Monastery, Monastery of Panagia Vriomeni, Panagia Exakousti Monastery, The Panagia Spiliotisa Monastery at Agios Vasilios, Monastery of Kremasta, Agios Georgios Vrahatsiotis Monastery, Monastery of Agios Georgios Selinari, Xera Xila Monastery, Monastery of Kroustaliana, Keras Monastery near Tzermiado.
Over 20 monasteries: Monastery of Savathiana, Vrondissi Monastery, Monastery of Valsamoneri at Vorizia, Agios Nikolaos Monastery (St Nicholas Monastery) near Messara, Monastery of Panagia Odigitria near Messara, Apezanon Monastery near Messara, Monastery of Kardiotissa, Agarathos Monastery, Monastery of The Panagia Gouverniotissa, Agios Antonios Monastery at Arvi (B), Monastery of Palianis, Agia Irini Monastery, Monastery of Martsolo, Kalivianis Monastery, Monastery of Gorgolaini, Ierosalim Monastery, Monastery of Koudouma; Epanosifi Monastery; the abandoned Monastery of Agios Dimitrios near Keratokambos; Agia Moni Monastery; Monastery of Keralimentiotisa.
Arkadi Monastery, Rethymnon
Preveli Monastery; Arsani Monastery, Monastery of Arkadi: Asomaton Monastery; Agia Irini Convent; Monastery of Chalevi; Koumbes with its 3 monasteries; Monastery of Agios Ioannis Prodromos near Bali; Halepa Monastery; Monastery of Diskouri; Kaloidena Monastery; Monastery of Agio Pnevma; Agios Antonios Monastery at Veni; Monastery of Roustika, dedicated to the Prophet Helias; Kera Panagia Monastery, Monastery of Kyria Antiphonitria at Myriokefala from 2nd Byzantine Period; Agios Ioannis the Theologian near Roustika, the now empty Roustika Convent dedicated to the Virgin Kera; Vosakos Monastery near Stavromenos; Agia Marina Convent near Halepa.
The Katholikon Monastery, Akrotiri, Chania
The Katholikon or Monastery of Saint John the Hermit of the Stranger, a ruined monastery and the oldest one in Crete (built around the 11th century); Monastery of Chryssopigi now a Convent; Gouverneto Monastery; Monastery of Agia Triada; Chrysoskalitissa Monastery; Monastery of Gonia; Agios Eleftherios Monastery near Mournies; Monastery of Agios Ioannis Theologos near Aptera; the abandoned Agios Ioannis Eleimon Monastery at Paxinos near Chania Airport; Monastery of Agios Ioannis Gionis; Tzagorolon Monastery; Monastery of Agia Irini at Kolymvari; Agia Kyriaki Convent at Mournies; Monastery of Sarakini; Karakies Convent; the abandoned Monastery of Agia Triatha at Pervolia; Agia Varvara Monastery at Lantziana; Monastery of Agios Charalambos at Frangocastello; Thymiana Monastery near Komitathes.
Click on the links for more information.
See our Byzantine Churches page for more ecclesiastical history including churches which contain ancient frescoes and other fascinating historical artefacts..
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Monasteries on Crete
Map of Monasteries on Crete