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Preveli Monastery

Place description

Preveli Monastery (also known as Prevelis Monastery) can be found 37km south of Rethymnon, nestled in a stunning natural landscape on the western slopes of Megalos Potamos (the end of Kourtaliotiko Gorge) and the nearby palm grove. The monastery complex consists of two separate monasteries situated 1.7km apart: the Kato (Lower) Monastery of Agios Ioannis Prodromos and the Piso (Back) Monastery of Agios Ioannis Theologos.

When approaching from Rethymnon, visitors first encounter the Kato Monastery of Agios Ioannis Prodomos (St. John the Baptist), which now lies in ruins. It is situated near the Megalos Potamos river and the region’s arched bridge. The monastery features an irregular arrangement of buildings centered around a courtyard, with the church of Saint John the Baptist at its heart. Surrounding the church are various structures that once housed the dining room, kitchen, abbot’s quarters, monks’ cells, an olive oil press, and storage rooms. The monastery was once in use year-round, as the surrounding land was ideal for cultivation and agriculture. However, it was eventually abandoned after being repeatedly destroyed and plundered by different conquerors of Crete.

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