Chania Gouverneto Monastery

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Location: Stavros

The historical Monastery of Gouverneto in Kolimbari, Chania Crete: The Monastery of Gouverneto, or Our Lady of the Angels, is located on the northern side of the Akrotiri peninsula, 19 km from Chania and 4 km from the Monastery of Agia Triada Tsagarolon. This is considered among the oldest monasteries in Crete as it was established in 1537.

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It must also have been among the largest monasteries of Crete in the past, as according to testimonies about 60 monks were living there the period before the occupation of Crete from the Ottomans. During World War II, the Germans established a guardhouse to control the region. The last years, the monks restored the monastery and repaired the damages of time.

The architecture of this monastery looks like a castle, with towers that used to protect it from enemies. Only two of the four towers survive today, but the remains of the other two can be seen in the yard. The katholikon of the monastery is dedicated to Virgin Mary. This is a cross-shaped church without domes and interestingly it has carved monsters at the entrance of the church. The style is influenced by the Renaissance and the Baroque.

The Monastery of Gouverneto was founded by Saint John the Hermit, which is why a small chapel is dedicated to him next to the katholikon. Also, his cave can be seen in the nearby Avlaki Gorge. Another chapel in the monastery is dedicated to the Ten Saints of Crete. Inside the Monastery of Gouverneto, there is a small ecclesiastical museum with precious relics.

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