Keras Kardiotissas Monastery

Chersónisos, Greece

The Eastern Orthodox Keras Kardiotissas is dedicated to Virgin Mary that is situated near the village of Kera of the Heraklion regional unit in Crete. It is built on the north slopes of Mt. Dikti, at an altitude of 650 m and a location that is approximately 50 km east of Heraklion, next to the road to Lasithi Plateau.

The exact date of the monastery's establishment is unknown. However, references to it are made in manuscripts dating from the early fourteenth century. The monastery was named after an old icon of Theotokos that according to tradition was miraculous. That icon was stolen in 1498 by a wine merchant and transferred to Rome where it is now permanently enshrined in the Church of St. Alphonsus near the Esquiline Hill. The stolen icon was replaced by another one in 1735 that is also regarded as miraculous. During the Ottoman occupation of Crete, the monastery often served as a local revolutionary center and suffered several retaliatory attacks as a result. In 1720, Kera monastery became Stauropegic (independent of the local Bishop).

The monastery is surrounded by fortified walls. The main church (katholikon) was originally built as an arch-covered single space structure and was later expanded with two narthexes and a smaller chapel. The church features murals dating to the 14th and 15th centuries.

Today, the monastery functions as a nunnery. It celebrates the birth of Mary on September 8th every year.

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Details

Founded: 14th century
Category: Religious sites in Greece

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

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User Reviews

Alexandra Birtar (2 years ago)
We visited the monastery last summer late august 2018. Virgin Mary has an icon sooo beautiful. The views are great.
Vibha Rao (2 years ago)
This is a gorgeous historic nunnery one of few in Crete up in the mountains of eastern Crete and further up the same mountain top is an excellent taverna serving very good rustic Cretan food and nearby are also some old Cretan villages with disused windmills which are a feature of the bleak lassithi plain of crete
George Chorianopoulos (2 years ago)
Amazing view and good hospitality....!
Marie Marsh (2 years ago)
Lovely. Well worth a visit. Nunnery actually. Great views.
Wendy Hazell (2 years ago)
The monastery is a lovely place the scenery is beautiful also its very informative too
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