Chania-Gouverneto Monastery Route10
The second largest city in Crete is Chania
A first-time visitor to Chania is surprised by the great number of buildings and monuments with traces of great history and culture.
The old town is located on and around the hill of Kasteli and was built over the ruins of the Minoan city Kydonia. It is surrounded by the Byzantine walls, the Venetian walls and the sea. The Minoan civilisation left behind grand tombs and interesting pottery objects. During the Venetian and the Ottoman rule, people of different nationalities and religions co-existed. Christians (Catholic and Orthodox), Jews and Muslims, have left discernible traces and produced particularly interesting creations.
In the neighbourhood of Topanas with its narrow paved streets, the visitor meets Venetian manors with elaborately decorated facades and Turkish houses with architectural protrusions. he Fort of Firkas, the Naval Museum and San Salvatore’s church of the Franciscan Monks (15th - 17th cent. AD), hosting the Byzantine collection of Chania, are there.
The church of "Profitis Elias was built during the Venetian period. In 1897 the headquarters of the revolution commanders was established there. (These were El. Venizelos, Nik. Pistolakis, Ant. Sifakas, G. Mylonogiannis, Char. Papathatkis, K. Foumis and G. Kotzambasis). The church was destroyed during the bombing attacks of the Great Powers and was later reconstructed.
The actual Monastery complex was built from 1537 till 1548. According to tradition, it was connected with miraculous St John the Hermit, and was used for the housing of the Saint' s pilgrims.The monastery flourishes during the 16th century, but is partly destroyed in 1765 and during the revolution of 1821. After the liberation, it flourishes one more time, because of its large property in flocks.The monastery is a typical example of the orthodox monastic architecture. It is formed of a rectangular precinct, with the Katholicon in the middle. The Katholicon is a triconch church with cupola and annexes with pyramidal cupolas ending up in obelisks. There are also the refectory the kitchens, the storehouses, the oven, the wine cellar, the oil store house and the cells.
Katholiko Monastery in Akrotiri
Katholiko monastery is located 20km east of Chania, near the northern shores of Cape Akrotiri. It is located near the exit of the gorge Avlaki, at a short distance from the sea.It is considered the oldest monastery in Crete, as it was founded in the mid-11th century. Its founder was St. John the Stranger or Hermit (Agios Ioannis Xenos or Erimitis), who lived in the cave, where you will see the temple dedicated to him (celebrates on September 20). The surrounding caves housed many hermits, while some monks lived in the cells of the monastery. When the coasts of Crete were targeted by the pirates, the monks were forced to move to a more remote place, so they abandoned Katholiko.