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Monasteries & Churches

Monasteries & Churches (5)

Holy Monastery of Arkadi The Arkadi Monastery situated on the island of Crete doesn’t solely belong to this island; it belongs to Greece, Europe and to all five continents – to the whole world. It is one of the Eastern Orthodox Monasteries underlining the catholicity and universality of the Church. Each year the Monastery receives and hosts many visitors and pilgrims from all over the world, from distant civilizations. Here are blended many languages, cultures, traditions, history and polymorphism. Nothing from the above can impede the faith unity, the catholicity of the orthodox spirit, the universality of the ecclesiastical testimony. The Arkadi Monastery has a unique natural beauty, a prestigious history, numerous legends deeply rooted in the time, heirlooms and thesaurus richness. Possibly because the old is livelier than the new, and the modern is often more mature than the aged. Each pilgrim and visitor feels something which is exclusively…
Holy Monastery of Kera – Kardiotissa The foundation and the history of the monastery, the first mention of which dates to 1333 is inextricably linked to the wonderworking icon of the All-Holy Virgin the Kardiotissa [the type of icon where the Virgin holds Christ in her arms above her heart], which according to tradition was painted by St. Lazaros, a monk and icon painter who lived during the period of Iconoclasm. The icon was stolen during the period of Venetian occupation and transferred to the church of St. Alphonse in Rome, while the newer icon that replaced it since 1735 is considered equally mira¬culous. Of the original monastery, only the catholicon survives today which has been structured architecturally after successive interventions to the original single-nave church. The barrel-vaulted space to the north and the three parallel to each other spaces on the west side were added subsequently. The whole was…
Cathedral of Saint Minas The imposing church of Saint Minas was built in 1862 and symbolizes the gratitude of the people of Heraklion to the Saint for the protection offered to them during the period of the Turkish rule. St. Minas is the patron Saint of Heraklion. The day of his celebration (November 11) is a holiday for the city. Many legends surround his name, narrating stories how he protected the city in many occasions, like when the Turks attacked and even during the German bombardments in 1941. The bomb exhibited right next to the Cathedral of St. Minas, by the staircase that leads to the plateau of St. Catherine, stands witness of the Saint’s protection as it fell at this point in 1941 but never exploded. The famous Cretan writer Kazantzakis often refers to him in his book “Captain Michalis” (UK title “Freedom and Death”): “On midnight, when the…
Holy Monastery of Agia Triada of Jagarolon The Monastery of Agia Triada of Tzagarolon is one of the richest and most beautiful monasteries in Crete. It is built near the airport of Chania, in the position Tzobomylos of the Cape Melecha and at the foothills of Stavros Mount. The distance from Chania is only 15km. The monastery was built by the Venetian nobles Jeremiah and Lawrence Tzagarolo. Jeremiah was a famous scholar of his era with rich education and was a friend of the Patriarch of Alexandria, Meletios Pigas. Jeremiah himself was a candidate for Patriarch of Constantinople. Moreover, Jeremiah designed and built the monastery complex of the monastery, being affected by the architect Sebastiano Serlio from Verona, Italy. The monastery today hosts a small museum with various pictures and icons. The most important are the 12th century cloth for covering the altar, the icons of St. John the Theologian…
Church of Panagia Kera The church of Panagia Kera is located southeast of the small town of Kritsa, a settlement with its own unique profile which played an important historical role. It dates from the Byzantine period, and grew considerably during the period of Venetian rule (1211-1647). One testimony to the vibrancy of Kritsa is the large number of frescoed churches in the area. By virtue of its size and rich fresco decoration, Panagia Kera is the most important of all these churches. The church’s interior was decorated with Byzantine frescos. The church’s architecture was created by a succession of additions and interventions. The central aisle, which had the form of a domed single-naved church, comprised the original church and was probably built in the Byzantine period. Early in the period of Venetian rule the central nave was restored, the dome was rebuilt, and the side aisles were added. The…

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