Lassithi Faneromeni Monastery

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Location: Sitia

The Monastery of Faneromeni is located near the town of Sitia, in the region of Gournia and it is dedicated to the Dormition of Mary. You will find it in the Gorge of Agii Pantes (All Saints), which is also known as Faneromeni Gorge. Although the monastery has lost its former glory, it gets lively once a year on August 15th when pilgrims arrive to celebrate the occasion of the Assumption.

At an altitude of 500 meters, the monastery is surrounded by greenery and it was probably constructed during the Late Byzantine era. Over the years, it was destroyed a few times due to wars or pirate attacks and had to be restored.
It is a historic place that played a crucial role during the Ottoman and Venetian occupation periods by offering shelter to revolutionists.
The name Faneromeni means "Revealed" and it is related to the miraculous appearance of an icon of the Virgin Mary in a cave which is known as "the Hermit's Cave".

The oldest findings in the monastery are the murals inside the church which date to 1455 but they were heavily damaged during the Ottoman occupation period. In its architecture, one will notice Venetian elements that were a result of the monastery's reconstruction.
You will also discover medieval cells that used to house the monks and a few other outbuildings. One of the most impressive parts of the monastery is the altar, which has been constructed inside a cave.

The monastery's two-aisled church celebrates twice a year; on the day of the Assumption (August 15th) and on the day of Saint George (November 3rd).

Though no monks reside there for the time being, numerous cave houses hidden in the gorge used to accommodate hermits in the past.



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