Chrissoskalitissa monastery

Location: Elafonisi   

The Monastery of Panagia Chrissoskalitissa in Chania: The historical Monastery of Panagia Chrissoskalitissa is located on the south western side of Chania, on the way to Elafonisi village. It is actually a lovely traditional settlement with a few permanent inhabitants. The white monastery lies on top of a cliff right above the beach of Elafonisi and is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Its name Chrissoskalitissa means golden steps and the tradition has it that one of the 90 steps that lead to the monastery is golden but only people with pure heart can see it.

This monastery was built during the Venetian times on the site of Agios Nikolaos monastery but its exact date is still unknown. During the Turking occupation of Crete, it was deserted and only a few cottage houses were found in the area. At that time, the monastery was a shelter for seamen who were caught in storm. The Monastery was reinhabited again in 1855, when a monk from Askifou renovated the building and built new cells.

Since then, the Monastery of Chrissoskalitissa is continuously inhabited. Today, it is a famous pilgrimage site and its rooms are open to the public including a folklore museum displaying items of daily use, instruments, tools and memorials of the Cretan Revolution.

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