Agia Moni at Viannos

The so-called Agia Moni (= Holy Monastery), dedicated to theDormition of the Virgin (Kimisi tis Theotokou), is to be found south of the village of Ano Viannos, in a verdant landscape. The church and the cells are simple and appear to have been renovated many times. However, sufficient information as to the precise history and the foundation date of the monastery is not available today.

According to one tradition, the monastery was founded by three Cypriot nuns, who had initially built a church of Saint Demetrius at Keratokambos, but were forced to abandon it and retreat inland, for fear of pirate raids; thus, they eventually built Agia Moni at its current site. According to another tradition, one of thesenuns also went to Kalami and founded the Virgin Keralimeniotissa (Panagia Keralimeniotissa).

The monastery was used until 1842, yet the number of monks decreased and it was abandonedfrom 1842 to 1865. It was later reoccupied, however from 1920 and on, no more than five monks resided there simultaneously.

The monastery celebrates on August 15th, when a big festival takes place and many people gather from the nearby villages.

The gorge of Afrati, habitat of the Bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus), ends up at Agia Moni. 

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Additional Info

  • location Ano Viannos, Viannos, Heraklio
  • type Abandoned Monastery
  • time period Turkish Occupation
  • site condition/facilities Open-Well preserved
  • relevant routes & paths

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