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:
Heidelberg Castle is a famous ruin and one of the the most important Renaissance structures north of the Alps. The rich and eventful history of Heidelberg Palace began when the counts palatine of the Rhine, – later prince electors – established their residence at Heidelberg. The earliest castle structure was built before 1214 and later expanded into two castles circa 1294; however, in 1537, a lightning-bolt destroyed the upper castle. Until the Thirty Years’ War, Heidelberg Palace boasted one of the most notable ensembles of buildings in the Holy Roman Empire. The present structures had been expanded by 1650, before damage by later wars and fires. In 1764, another lightning-bolt caused a fire which destroyed some rebuilt sections.
The 19th century brought a new wave of admiration: a sight both terrible and beautiful, the ruins epitomised the spirit of the Romantic movement. Heidelberg Palace was elevated to a national monument. The imposing edifice and its famous garden, the Hortus Palatinus, became shrouded in myth. The garden, the last work commissioned by the prince electors, was never completed. Some remaining landscaped terraces and other vestiges hint at the awe-inspiring scale of this ambitious project. In the 17th century, it was celebrated as the “eighth wonder of the world”. While time has taken its toll, Heidelberg Palace’s fame lives on to this day.
Heidelberg Castle is located 80 metres up the northern part of the Königstuhl hillside, and thereby dominates the view of the old downtown. Set against the deep green forests on the north flank of Königstuhl hill, the red sandstone ruins tower majestically over the Neckar valley.