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Monasteries & churches

Throughout its long and interesting history, Crete has always been a place with intense spirituality and religiousness. The numerous religious monuments are based on authentic traditional and cultural values and stand as lifeless transmitters of information. 

The religious buildings were also the witness of the tumultuous history of Crete. Some of them protecting locals during the Turk occupation, as they were the only places where Christians could find shelter and organize their military operations. That's why several were destroyed during that period.
And later some monks helped fight against the German during WWII.

However nowadays some of the monasteries are deserted and others are attended to only by one or a couple of monks.
Most monasteries can be visited during the day.  Remember to be dressed appropriately and not to take any pictures inside the temples.

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  • Monastery Odigitrias

    Odigitria Monastery is a male monastery located in a protected position of Asterousia Mountains, at an altitude of 250m. The monastery can be accessed through the village of Sivas in Messara Plain.
  • Panagiá in Mártsalos

    The cave church of Panagiá is located at the entrance of the 2km long canyon Martsalos and can only be reached on foot. The gorge ends at a picturesque palm beach on the Libyan Sea.
  • Vrontisi Monastery

    Vrontissi monastery is located between the villages of Zaros and Vorizia, with a panoramic view overlooking the plain of Messara.