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Diskouri Monastery

Place description

Located 43km east of Rethymnon, the Diskouri Monastery is regarded as one of Crete’s oldest monasteries, with the nearby ornately adorned Byzantine church of Saint John the Baptist attesting to its age.

Currently owned by the Halepa Monastery, the complex is thought to have been constructed on top of an ancient temple of Dioscuri, though this has yet to be confirmed. It took on its present form during the final years of Venetian rule when it resembled a fortress.

The church of Saint George sits at the center of the courtyard, and its old icon of Saint George is well-known among Cretan herders who swear on it when accused of stealing animals.

Having been severely damaged by the Turks and the unsightly interventions of the 20th century, the monastery has significantly changed from its original form. Bishops Parthenios and Meletios, as well as Arkadi Monastery’s chieftain Paul Dedidakis, were laid to rest in the courtyard.

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