According to various historical sources, Vosakou monastery was in continuous use from the early 17th century until 1960, when the last of its monks died. In April 1676, Vossakos became a Patriarchical monastery (i.e. stauropegic), proclaimed by an act of Ecumenical Patriarch Parthenius IV. The monastery played an important role in the greater area of Mylopotamos and owned many pieces of land as well as establishments in the nearby villages of Sisses, Garazo and Dafnedes. It also contributed to the Greek Revolution of Independence in 1821 and the Cretan Revolution of 1866. This involvement resulted in the monastery being partially destroyed by the Turks. Later in the 19th century, the monastery was rebuilt through significant construction activities. The current main church (katholikon) was built in 1855, replacing an earlier one dating from the 14th and 15th centuries.
The monastic complex is arranged in three wings around the main church which is situated on the east side of the central yard. It is a single-aisled, vaulted church that is characterized by simple artistic features. A fountain built in 1673 is located near the main church. The monastery's water supply system is complemented by two water-cisterns, collecting the water draining from the roofs with a system of pipes. The east wing of the monastery is determined by its monumental gate of 1669 and two small rooms. The south and west wings comprise the dining hall, kitchen, honey and wax workshops and the raki distillery. An open-air wine-press is located in the central wing.
After being abandoned for over 40 years, the monastery was reinstated in 1998. An extensive restoration project was undertaken by the 28th Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities, funded by the municipality of Kouloukonas, the Region of Crete and the monastery itself. Today, about two thirds of the originally derelict buildings have been restored and works are still under way.References:
Château de Falaise is best known as a castle, where William the Conqueror, the son of Duke Robert of Normandy, was born in about 1028. William went on to conquer England and become king and possession of the castle descended through his heirs until the 13th century when it was captured by King Philip II of France. Possession of the castle changed hands several times during the Hundred Years' War. The castle was deserted during the 17th century. Since 1840 it has been protected as a monument historique.
The castle (12th–13th century), which overlooks the town from a high crag, was formerly the seat of the Dukes of Normandy. The construction was started on the site of an earlier castle in 1123 by Henry I of England, with the 'large keep' (grand donjon). Later was added the 'small keep' (petit donjon). The tower built in the first quarter of the 12th century contained a hall, chapel, and a room for the lord, but no small rooms for a complicated household arrangement; in this way, it was similar to towers at Corfe, Norwich, and Portchester, all in England. In 1202 Arthur I, Duke of Brittany was King John of England's nephew, was imprisoned in Falaise castle's keep. According to contemporaneous chronicler Ralph of Coggeshall, John ordered two of his servants to mutilate the duke. Hugh de Burgh was in charge of guarding Arthur and refused to let him be mutilated, but to demoralise Arthur's supporters was to announce his death. The circumstances of Arthur's death are unclear, though he probably died in 1203.
In about 1207, after having conquered Normandy, Philip II Augustus ordered the building of a new cylindrical keep. It was later named the Talbot Tower (Tour Talbot) after the English commander responsible for its repair during the Hundred Years' War. It is a tall round tower, similar design to the towers built at Gisors and the medieval Louvre.Possession of the castle changed hands several times during the Hundred Years' War. The castle was deserted during the 17th century. Since 1840, Château de Falaise has been recognised as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture.
A programme of restoration was carried out between 1870 and 1874. The castle suffered due to bombardment during the Second World War in the battle for the Falaise pocket in 1944, but the three keeps were unscathed.