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Monastery of St. George Apanosifis

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The Monastery of St. George Apanosifis, also known as Epanosifis, is situated approximately 30km south of Heraklion, near the village of Metaxohori. It is the largest male monastery in Crete, in terms of the number of monks. The monastery’s spiritual and social contributions were invaluable during the challenging years of the Turkish occupation.

Constructed towards the end of the Venetian Era, the monastery quickly gained prominence. A written account states that it was founded by a monk from the Apezana Monastery, who once set out on a hike to the Agarathos Monastery. During his journey, he spent a night at the Church of St. George on the estate of the Lagouvardos family. In a dream, Saint George appeared to him and instructed him to build the monastery at that location. Initially, Lagouvardos refused, but after being punished by the Saint, he agreed and funded the construction of the Epanosifis Monastery.

Several dependencies are associated with the Epanosifis Monastery, including the ruined Aistratigos Monastery to the northwest, the St. Anthony Monastery, the Xera Xyla Monastery near Neapolis, and numerous chapels.

Today, the monastery houses valuable treasures, such as gospels, intricately carved crosses, a silver chalice from 1842, the icon of Saint George from the Xera Xyla Monastery, and relics of 21 Saints. Additionally, the monastery is home to a Higher Ecclesiastical School, which is located in a former orphanage building. The St. George Church celebrates on April 23 and November 3.

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