Agarathos Monastery

Hersonissos, Greece

Agarathos is one of the oldest monasteries in Crete but its exact date of establishment is not known. Most probably, it was established during the second Byzantine period and originally belonged to the Kallergis family. According to tradition, it received its name from a Jerusalem sage bush (agarathia in the Cretan dialect), under which an old icon of Virgin Mary was found.

The earliest written reference to the monastery dates back to 1532 and the Venetian period. During that time, Agarathos was a very wealthy monastery, with many of its monks originating from Kythira. During the Ottoman occupation of Crete, the monastery often served as a local revolutionary center and suffered several retaliatory attacks as a result. Several important figures, among which Cyril Lucaris, Meletius Pegas, Joseph Bryennios, Gerasimos Palaiokapas and Theodore of Alexandria, have been enrolled as monks at Agarathos.

Agarathos monastery is built with a fortified architecture. The main building (katholikon) is a two-nave church that was erected on the location of an older one and was inaugurated in 1894. One nave is dedicated to Kimisis and the other to St. Minas. In 1935, the church was declared as a preservable monument. An old church dedicated to St. Raphael is located outside the courtyard.

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Details

Founded: 11th century
Category: Religious sites in Greece

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.8/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Digimarc Digimarc (11 months ago)
Quiet monastery in the middle of nowhere. Beautiful serenity, beautiful paintings. Little gift shop with local products and usual stuff.
Manos Kornarakis (11 months ago)
Very nice old monastery with beautiful paintings and architecture.
Doug F (12 months ago)
Such a wonderfully peaceful and kind expereince. Beautiful monastery, and great oil. The monks don't speak much English, but really try and make your visit welcoming and accommodate as best as possible.
Alice Dylan (12 months ago)
A very tranquil, little monastery with a small church. The gift shop was closed when we arrived at 5pm, but the view of the vineyards is absolutely worth the journey.
Matus Pakozdy (2 years ago)
A wonderful historical place that exudes peace. There is also a small museum and a shop for various items, such as religious items, olive oil, rakia. Visiting this place is a wonderful experience.
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The choir of the two-aisle grey granite church features medieval murals and frescoes. The white steeple of the church was built in 1816 and has served as a landmark for seafarers.