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

Gisela Kasper (18 months ago)
It was great!
Аркадий Петров (19 months ago)
Wonderful
Colin Murray (2 years ago)
Church on na hill
Ania Heasley (2 years ago)
Absolutely the best most charming and magical of Crete's monasteries. Peaceful, humbling, serene. The church is richly decorated, the museum has amazing range of artefacts and handwritten letters going back to 1660s. The monk who greeted us was very friendly and welcoming, shook our hands warmly and offered us small snacks and water. A true gem!
Thomas Maurer (3 years ago)
What a surprise we only followed the sign on the road and found this beautiful place. You can visit the church and the museum for free.
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