Monastery of Kroustalenia


Location: Tzermiado   

The Monastery of Panagia Kroustalenia in Lassithi Crete: The Monastery of Kroustalenia is located 42 km east of Agios Nikolaos and close to the village of Agios Konstantinos. It is built on a hill, at an altitude of 800m, among a rocky and green surrounding. The monastery of Kroustalenia is dedicated to Virgin Mary and the first building was constructed in 1241, during the first years of the Venetian domination. However, the Venetians destroyed it when they decided to depopulate the area of Lassithi.

The monastery was later rebuilt by two nuns from the monasteries of Panagia of the Cave and Agia Marina, in Peloponnese. In 1821, abbot Gervasios, a monk in the Monastery, took part in the Greek War of Independence. That is why the Turks totally destroyed it in 1823. The Monastery was rebuilt once again in 1862 and constituted the Seat of the Committee of the Cretan Revolution (1866-69). The monks also used to make weapons there to help the revolutionists.

In 1867, the Monastery was destroyed one more time. Later on, till the end of the Turkish domination, the Monastery of Kroustalenia would function as an elementary Greek school. During the Second World War, the Germans turned the Monastery into a concentration camp and arrested some monks who were helping the Greek Resistance. Today, only a few monks live permanently in the Monastery.

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