Saint Nikolaos Monastery (Zaros)

Saint Nikolaos Monastery in Zaros

At the southern entrance of the homonymous gorge is located the Saint Agios Nikolaos Monastery, which was the third major monastery of the region of Zaros. Today, is maintained only the small temple of Saint Nikolaos which is going back to the 14th century. Also, are survived several parts of wall-paintings from that period and seems to have been a nunnery which was abandoned after some possibly destruction.

In recent years the monastery is expanded with new buildings to meet the needs of the brotherhood of the Julian calendar which has installed in the monastery. On the eastern side of the gorge, 500 meters distance above the monastery of St. Nikolaos, is located a small cave hermitage of Saint Euthymius who came from the neighboring village Nivrytos to which it belongs the surrounding area.

The tradition says that the nuns of the Monastery of St. Nikolaos killed accidentally the ascetic Efthimios when once, they perceived him within the gardens of the monastery, dressed with animal hides.

East of the river and outside the precincts of the monastery of St. Nikolaos, is located the small chapel of Saint Minas. Probably in the entrance area of ​​the gorge had flourished monastic state just like in many other gorges of Crete, in which is observed concentration of religious and monastic sites.

According to the tradition in the St. Nikolaos, in antiquity, was existed the Temple of Poseidon, in place which was created the Christian church of Saint Nikolaos. Agios Nikolaos is somehow a replacement for Poseidon in Christian religious tradition. Perhaps, it is not coincidence its reference in many Venetian maps Templio De Saro (ie. the Temple of Zaros) and be associated with the nearby ancient sources of Sterna and Votomos in where may be worshiped the Poseidon.

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Additional Info

  • location Zaros, Faistos, Irakleio
  • type Monastery
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