Kera Kardiotissa (Our Lady of the Heart) Convent

Kera Kardiotissa Convent at the mountain of Dikte

Kera Kardiotissa Convent is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, as are most Cretan monasteries. This is a very old convent that became renowned thanks to the 'miraculous' icon of Panagia Kardiotissa, to which reference is made in manuscripts from 1333.

The convent is linked to a legend that attracts many worshippers. According to tradition, the icon of Panagia Kardiotissa – for which the convent is named and which is considered miraculous – was stolen three times by the Ottomans and it returned 'on its own' all three times. In fact, according to the legend, the third time it was chained to a marble column, which it brought back with it upon its return. The column of the legend is currently situated in the Convent courtyard and the chain has been placed next to the icon.

Its initial form was of the citadel type. The catholicon of the monastery was initially a single-space arch-covered church and was expanded with two narthexes and a smaller chapel.

The murals date back to the 14th century, while the northern section of the church features 15th century murals with characteristics of the Macedonian school of hagiography. 

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Additional Info

  • location Kera, Chersonissos, Irakleio
  • type Monastery
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