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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Address

Unnamed Road, Chaniá, Greece
See all sites in Chaniá

Details

Founded: 1537
Category: Religious sites in Greece

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Envilogos Waterways (21 months ago)
Cretan monastery to get some peace and quiet
M. A. (2 years ago)
Great monastery
Fanis Fragiudakis (2 years ago)
Great location
Gina Hallett (2 years ago)
Beautiful monastery and church, so peaceful inside. It was a shame some people were unable to respect the no photographs rule, and that I was subjected to a Transphobic rant by the young man collecting money at the gate... It spoilt a beautiful experience hence only 4*
Radek Em (2 years ago)
This place is simply beautiful! Especially at sunset.
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