The Monastery of Varsamonero was one of the most important centres of the Cretan School of Iconography and is related to the Monastery of Vrontisi.
Few architectural elements of this monastery complex survive today. The three-aisled church, which is dedicated to the Virgin, to Saint John and to Saint Phanourios, has been restored.
Most likely, the oldest aisle of the church is the one dedicated to the Virgin, where carvings dating back to1332 can be seen. The western transept, dedicated to Saint Phanourios, was built in 1426 and was fully decorated with frescoes in 1431, by the painter Konstantinos Rikos. The southern aisle is dedicated to Saint John and was built a few years before1400.
The frescoes in the church are in very good condition and are thought to be of great artistic and scientific value. The carved wood icon screen, dating to the 16th century, as well as acarved wood lectern and athrone, are also of great craftsmanship; the latter are kept in the Historical Museum of Crete, in Heraklion.
The church is not always open; before visiting, one should seek information at the Monastery of Vrontisi or look for the keeper of the Monastery of Varsamonero in Vorizia village, 2,5 kilometres before the monastery.
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