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.



Your name


Founded: 14th century
Category: Religious sites in Greece

More Information


4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Janet Thompson (6 months ago)
Interesting, educational. Beautiful scenery and historical facts.
Hitham Alkashif (6 months ago)
Panagia Kera Kardiotissa Monastery is a hidden gem nestled in the captivating landscape of Crete, Greece. My recent visit to this historic and spiritual sanctuary left a profound impression on me, and I am delighted to share my detailed review of this remarkable place. **Location and Scenic Beauty:** The monastery is located in the Lassithi Plateau, a region known for its natural beauty and serene atmosphere. As I approached the monastery, I was struck by the breathtaking surroundings of lush green hills and charming Cretan villages. The location alone makes it a must-visit spot for nature lovers and those seeking tranquility. **Spiritual Significance:** Panagia Kera Kardiotissa Monastery holds immense spiritual and historical significance. It is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and the main church is adorned with beautiful frescoes and religious artifacts. The atmosphere within the monastery is peaceful and reverent, making it an ideal place for quiet contemplation and reflection. **Icon Gallery:** One of the highlights of my visit was the monastery's icon gallery, which boasts a remarkable collection of religious icons. These icons provide a glimpse into the rich history and culture of Crete. The skill and artistry displayed in these icons are truly impressive. **Architectural Beauty:** The architecture of the monastery is a testament to the craftsmanship of the time it was built. The whitewashed buildings and the red-tiled roofs create a harmonious contrast against the backdrop of the rugged Cretan landscape. The monastery's well-preserved structure adds to its charm. My visit was an unforgettable experience that combined natural beauty, and cultural richness. I highly recommend this monastery to anyone visiting Crete,.
Elena Zervaki (7 months ago)
Old but renovated Monastery where there is a legend of Madonna having performed miracles there. Be sure to put the chain you see in the church, around you!
Anca B (7 months ago)
A quiet place filled with history and peacefulness! Definitely worth visiting with a guide that can describe the meaning of the monastery to everybody. ?
Phaidra Stanley (11 months ago)
Beautiful monastery with aong history. It was once headed by an abbott, and it is now a nunnery. The church is stunning and has frescos over 600 years old (no pictures allowed inside) it offers amazing vkews of the surrounding area. It's worth the visit.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Trencín Castle

Trenčín Castle is relatively large renovated castle, towering on a steep limestone cliff directly above the city of Trenčín. It is a dominant feature not only of Trenčín, but also of the entire Považie region. The castle is a national monument.

History of the castle cliff dates back to the Roman Empire, what is proved by the inscription on the castle cliff proclaiming the victory of Roman legion against Germans in the year 179.

Today’s castle was probably built on the hill-fort. The first proven building on the hill was the Great Moravian rotunda from the 9th century and later there was a stone residential tower, which served to protect the Kingdom of Hungary and the western border. In the late 13th century the castle became a property of Palatine Matúš Csák, who became Mr. of Váh and Tatras.

Matúš Csák of Trenčín built a tower, still known as Matthew’s, which is a dominant determinant of the whole building.