Toplou Abbey | St. George | Mary Faneromeni

Toplou Abbey | St. George | Mary Faneromeni

Nunneries and holy spots in Crete

There can be no doubt that Christian shrines have terrific spiritual, cultural, as well as historical value in the isle. They are the true pearl of Crete, attracting tens of thousands of visitors every year. The history of Christianity starts here in the first century AD, from St. Apostle Paul, as well as his student Titus, who founded the first Christian community here. We will tell you about the best-known abbeys of Crete.

The Monastery of the Virgin Mary Faneromeni

The abbey is in the number of the active man’s monasteries on the isle. It is based near the township of Agios Nikolaos, in the eastern region of the archipelago. The abbey is positioned in an incredibly splendid corner, among the mountains, surrounded by pristine nature and rightfully is in the number of the most cherished Orthodox shrines, captivating many monks around the globe.

The precise date of its establishment is unidentified, but historiographers state that already in 1282 rebels gathered here to hide behind the defence of its secure walls and develop strategic combat against the Venetian aggressors.

Throughout the ages, the walls and arrangement of the abbey were repeatedly shattered and reconstructed. The existing architectural assembly was recreated in the 19th-20th centuries. It uplifts on a steep hill. The buildings are surrounded by a tall wall which is protecting it from attack from the sea and externally, the abbey is more like an inviolable fortress. Experts considered that the style of complexes embodies the traditional architecture of the XIX century. The entire abbey assembly is formed of four groups of houses, united by a narrow courtyard.

There is a gigantic crag with a cavern not far from the major constructions. Inside the cave, there is a temple, where pilgrims can reverence to the marvellous icon of the Mother of God. This is the major temple of the abbey, in honour of which annually, on 15th of August, solemn public worship dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin is held. This event becomes primary, however, during another days - especially at the end of summer, there are many guests and pilgrims who seek to visit the marvellous icon, which is attributed to plenty of legends.

Have you decided how you are going to organize your journey? In order to see as many as possible, to attend exceptionally appealing spots, car hire Crete will be the most optimal choice. It is not only beneficial but also very convenient because you decide where to drive and what to see.

Abbey of St. George

Driving along the route from the city of Heraklion to Agios Nikolaos, it will not be problematic for you to find the Selinari Canyon. It is placed in the area of the beginning of the mountain range which starts from the peak of Selena and ends at the Cretan Sea. You may pay a call to the abbey of St. George here. Firstly, you should attend the major house of worship of the abbey - the Church of St. George, that was erected in the XVI century. This is not a gigantic, one-hub sanctuary, where a ceiling with graceful nose cone arches, as well as murals appertaining to a later period are the core ornament.

In these regions in the world, it says that back in 1552 three brothers landed here. They escaped the isle of Rhodes, which was ruled by the Turkish conquistadors. One of the brothers decided to turn into a monk and settled down in the mountains, where he set up a tiny chapel devoted to St. George. The monk spent his days in solitude, arranging a cell in the mainsail on the cave hill of one of the mountains, not far from the sanctuary. Legend states that on the slope of days, the friar dug up his own grave, where he was buried by the temple churchgoers. Today, there is a massive stone cross, which is clearly observable aside from the abbey.

Explorers that studying the history of the abbey found tiny cells here. It witnessing the existence of a community gathered around the chapel during the rule of the Ottoman Empire.

In 1934, it was decided to renovate the sanctuary and the surrounding district in order to make this shrine approachable to friars. Today, the abbey complex includes a temple, an oratory and a tiny spring.

Toplou Abbey

Toplou Monastery (Monastery of Our Lady of Akrotiri) is in the number of the most amazing and most frequently visited spots of Crete. The houses and the courtyard are surrounded by an unapproachable wall, whose height catches up 10 m. An impressive bell tower towering above it, its height is approximately 33 m. The monastery is established in a concealed, deserted place. Its neighbourhood is the sharply contrasted with its huge blades of a wind power station. According to the specialists, there were many other temples before. It was demolished by pirates who landed in these places frequently seeking for rich extraction.

It is noteworthy that the Toplou Monastery was also raided and many of its constructions were wrecked. Thanks to the painstaking of long-standing work of the renovators, the former magnificence of the Toplou Monastery has been ruined today, and it is accessible for tours again.

The numberless abbeys and temples of Crete keep plenty of secrets and sacraments, captivating the attention of several thousands of monks and visitors annually. We have to notice that your trip will be way more comfortable and diversified if you use the car rental service which is pretty famous in Crete. Having a comfortable vehicle at your disposal, you will be able to pay a call to plenty of exciting spots of Crete, sunbathe on the beaches and visit taverns, take stunning shots and bring home the most enjoyable experience. Car hire Crete is an excellent alternative for a family holiday, a small friendly company or a romantic trip.

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