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Saint George Gorgolainis Monastery

Place description

Perched at an elevation of 480m near the village of Asites, the Saint George Gorgolainis Monastery lies 24km south of Heraklion. This verdant area is adorned with massive platan, cypress, and oak trees, with one platan and one cypress tree within the complex designated as protected natural monuments by law.

As one of the oldest monasteries in Crete, the Saint George Gorgolainis Monastery has withstood numerous attacks during the Turkish occupation, serving as a refuge for the region’s rebels. Among them were chieftains Michael Korakas and Fragias Mastrahas, both renowned heroes across Crete. Within the monastery, you can find the statue and tomb of Mastrahas, who fell in battle against the Turks in Asites in 1868.

Maintaining its historical authenticity, the monastery’s monks abstain from using electrical equipment during liturgy. The temple, dedicated to Saint George, features an intricately designed iconostasis. While the temple itself is ancient, the surrounding monks’ cells are relatively new. Visitors will be struck by the old Venetian fountain that, until 1990, was adorned with a majestic marble lion, which has since been stolen.

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