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:
German crusaders known as the Livonian Brothers of the Sword began construction of the Cēsis castle (Wenden) near the hill fort in 1209. When the castle was enlarged and fortified, it served as the residence for the Order's Master from 1237 till 1561, with periodic interruptions. Its ruins are some of the most majestic castle ruins in the Baltic states. Once the most important castle of the Livonian Order, it was the official residence for the masters of the order.
In 1577, during the Livonian War, the garrison destroyed the castle to prevent it from falling into the control of Ivan the Terrible, who was decisively defeated in the Battle of Wenden (1578).
In 1598 it was incorporated into the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Wenden Voivodship was created here. In 1620 Wenden was conquered by Sweden. It was rebuilt afterwards, but was destroyed again in 1703 during the Great Northern War by the Russian army and left in a ruined state. Already from the end of the 16th century, the premises of the Order's castle were adjusted to the requirements of the Cēsis Castle estate. When in 1777 the Cēsis Castle estate was obtained by Count Carl Sievers, he had his new residence house built on the site of the eastern block of the castle, joining its end wall with the fortification tower.
Since 1949, the Cēsis History Museum has been located in this New Castle of the Cēsis Castle estate. The front yard of the New Castle is enclosed by a granary and a stable-coach house, which now houses the Exhibition Hall of the Museum. Beside the granary there is the oldest brewery in Latvia, Cēsu alus darītava, which was built in 1878 during the later Count Sievers' time, but its origins date back to the period of the Livonian Order. Further on, the Cēsis Castle park is situated, which was laid out in 1812. The park has the romantic characteristic of that time, with its winding footpaths, exotic plants, and the waters of the pond reflecting the castle's ruins. Nowadays also one of the towers is open for tourists.