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Monastery of Panagia Chrisoskalitissa

Place description

The Panagia Chrisoskalitissa Monastery can be found 72km south of Chania, situated near the stunning Elafonissi lagoon. Resembling a majestic fortress, it sits atop a 35m high rock, offering expansive views of the sea.

In Greek, the monastery’s name translates to Our Lady Gold-stepped, which refers to one of the 98 stairs that was supposedly made of gold. Tradition states that only true believers in God can still see this golden stair. However, another story claims that the golden stair was sold by the Patriarchate to resolve the monastery’s financial issues during the Turkish Era.

The monastery’s temple features two aisles dedicated to the Virgin Mary and the Holy Trinity. The exact date of its establishment remains unknown. Nearby, the monastery of Saint Nicholas (Agios Nikolaos) operated during the Turkish Period. Additionally, a small Middle Minoan fishing village has been identified on the beach next to the monastery.

As per tradition, the rebels Georgios and Peter Kantanoleon were buried here in 1527, and their story was later documented in the Cretans Weddings by Zambelios.

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