Gouverneto Monastery

Chaniá, Greece

Gouverneto Monastery is a Greek Orthodox monastery in the Akrotiri peninsula of the Chania regional unit. Dated to 1537 (although other sources say 1548), the monastery is a Venetian style fortress with towers at each end with some Baroque influences added later. It measures roughly 40 metres by 50 metres and contains some 50 monks’ cells on two floors.

Gouverneto is reputed to be one of the oldest monasteries in Crete, and a 1637 census, recorded shortly before the Turkish invasion, revealed that at the time there were 60 monks living in Gouverneto Monastery, also making it one of the largest in Crete at the time. The courtyard is rectangular shaped and is dominated by a dome church dedicated to the virgin and has an ornate Venetian facade. The chapel in the courtyard is reported to have some of the oldest frescoes in Crete.

To the west side of the monastery is the narthex, and contains chapels dedicated to St John the Hermit and the Ten Holy Martyrs. There are some notable monsters carved in relief on the front of the church. A cave called Arkouditissa or Arkoudia, is also located in the vicinity where the goddess Artemis was once worshiped.

During World War II, the Germans established a guardhouse in the monastery to regulate the area and since 2005 it has undergone restoration work by the monks. The monastery has strict rules, and forbids smoking and photography inside the monastery and is officially closed on Wednesdays and Fridays.



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Unnamed Road, Chaniá, Greece
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Founded: 1537
Category: Religious sites in Greece


4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Carlos De la Pampa (4 months ago)
We went to visit this monastery with our family It is a quiet place full of history. It is an extraordinary place The view from behind is breathtaking We advise you to visit this site When you leave, don't forget to buy a souvenir to help the monks financially
Peter Saramo (4 months ago)
Magnificent evensong surrounded by marvellous frescoes. A holy place.
Wei-Sheng Hung (Wayne Hung) (4 months ago)
A holy place, with beautiful valley views.
Rob Schuurman (5 months ago)
Very nice and quiet location for a walk in nature to the beach. If you visit the the monastery at 5pm, the gate is opened and you can see the inner garden and the church. We were offered sweet delicacies by the friendly monks.
Frank Verduzco (5 months ago)
Beautiful monastery. Very traditional customs, need to ensure to wear appropriate clothing, no sleeveless shirts nor shorts or skirts above the knee. They have a small shop, and a hiking trail that leads to another monastery and a cove by the beach.
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