Apezanes Monastery

Apezanes Monastery in Asteroussia Mountains

Apezanes Monastery is located on a small plateau on the west side of the Asteroussia and, according to tradition, was founded by ascetics from Agiofaraggo and flourished during the final years of the era of Venetian rule.

It was a citadel-type monastery with three cannon-equipped towers and held a large number of glebes and farmland throughout the island.

From the 16th century and until the years of Ottoman rule, the Monastery ran a school where theology, philosophy and Byzantine music were taught. Its monks included Meletios Pigas, who later became Patriarch of Alexandria.

The present-day catholicon is a three-aisled basilica, with the northern aisle dedicated to Saint Anthony, the nave dedicated to the Divine Transfiguration and the south aisle to the Three Hierarchs. It was inaugurated in 1837 and its wood-carved chancel screen dates back to 1838. One of the icons of the chancel screen appears to be the work of Domenicus Theotokopoulos (El Greco).

At present, the monastery retains its citadel character, although few architectural elements indicate its older form. Its large library contains numerous Early Byzantine manuscripts and many rare editions.

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Additional Info

  • location Center of Asteroussia (Pompia), Faistos, Irakleio
  • type Monastery
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