Heraklion Agia Irini Monastery

Table of contents:
General infoMapMembers Photos (4)Reviews (1)

Location: Kroussonas

The Monastery of Agia Irini is located on the outskirts of Kroussonas, 20 kilometers to the southwest of Heraklion Town, on the foothills of Mount Ida. It is a two-aisled church with one aisle dedicated to Saint Irene and the other to the Assumption of Mary.

This convent is believed to date to the 14th or 15th century, although the exact date is unknown. Its earliest surviving attestation dates to the late 16th century under Hegumen Ionas (Jonah) Danilis. During the 17th century, the monastery fell within the Mudazzo (or Muazzo) family’s fiefdom, and eventually became one of Crete’s wealthiest monasteries.

It is believed to have thrived well into the Ottoman period, although most of its history has been lost, due to its destruction at the hands of Ottoman forces in 1822. Crete was in armed rebellion at this time and the monastery served as refuge for local rebels, which led the Sultan’s forces to burn down the monastery and kill all of its monks.

After lying in ruin for more than a century, reconstruction was undertaken in 1944 and it has since been used as a convent, considered one of Crete’s most active monasteries. It is open to the public and offers a wonderful view of the lowlands to the east. Its charming aesthetic makes it an attractive stop for those exploring the eastern parts of Mount Ida, while a crypt dating to the original phase of construction is preserved in the katholikon’s western end.



1 Reviews
  • olli.lampinen 26 Oct 2012
    Picturesque monastery
    If you travel to Crete go to the wonderful Agia Irini Monastery at Kroussonas. It is a very nice and historical Monastery. I was there in September 2011 with my wife. The monastery has been established in the 10th century. As accurs with most of the monasteries in Crete it has been destroyed severals times during the various revolutions and revolts against the Ottomans domination. The buildings and the garden are very beautiful. There is a very nice shop for tourists from which you can buy traditional handicrafts of weaving and needlework. The products are made by the 9 nuns who now are living in the monastery. The restoration of the buildings started in 1970 and in 1989 the monastery was reoccupied by the nuns. When you visited inhabited monasteries you must remember that your clothing must be appropriate, sholders and knees must be covered. Go to this picturesque monastery, it is very beautiful situated high up on a mountain. I am sure that you will like this place !