restaurant café GEFYRA | Preveli

Holy Monastery of Preveli 

We are just 300m from Kato Moni and 4km from Piso Moni. 

The historical Holy Monastery of Preveli is situated south of Rethymno, east of the outfall of Kourtalioti (Megalos Potamos). It is one of the most famous and reputable monasteries of Crete, inside a green, verdant landscape.

It includes two different monasteries that are in a distance of 1,7 km between them, the Kato Moni of Prodromos and the Piso Moni of Theologos.

The first compound, that the visitor meets first when coming from Rethymno, is the Kato Moni of Prodromos, which is deserted. It is located near Megalos Poramos and the arch bridge of the region and it was founded during the 10th -11th century. Before, the monastery was used almost all year, as the nearby areas were ideal for agriculture and husbandry. Yet, it was abandoned, as it was destroyed and ransacked several times, from various occupiers.

Unlike the Kato Moni, the Piso Moni of Theologos functions as a men monastery and it can be visited. It was founded at the 16th century and it is built on a rocky height with an unbelievable view to the sea. The compound is built in a Π form and in the center there is the temple of the monastery with the extraordinary icons, dedicated to Agios Ioannis Theologos (his celebration is at the 8th of May) and to the Annunciation of Mary.

During the Ottoman Empire it was destroyed in 1646 and 1770. The name of the Monastery possibly comes from Akakios Prevelis, who was the renovator of the monastery in 1670.  

Preveli has combined its name with the participation of the monks at the liberation battles of Creta, a fact because of which the monastery had to deal with the consequences many times.

One of the most important personalities of Crete was Melhisidek Tsouderos (1803- 1823), abbot of the Monastery. Melhisidek was initiated to the “Filiki Eteria” and was the first to organize the revolution of 1821 in Crete. He was taking part himself at the battles, but he was killed heroically in 1823. Later, a Turkish man, Psarosmailis, raids against the monastery and he destroys it. 

The Holy Cross of Preveli 

The miraculous Holy Cross of the Monastery, dedication of the abbot Efraim Prevelis(1769-1803), carries a big piece of Holy Wood at its base and as the tradition says, it comes from Istanbul.  The Holy Cross has marked and still marks the life of the Monastery and everyone that, with faith and religiosity asks for its help. Its miracles are uncountable during the centuries, and its intervention to all who go there and ask for its grace and cure is really effective.

At the unfortunate battle that took place in august of 1823 in Amourgeles of Herakleion, the Holy Symbol ended at the hands of the Turkish. They sold it to Genovese adventurers. When in November of the same year they were sailing near the sea of the Monastery they understood that their ship stopped abruptly despite the favorable wind. The ship continued its route after three days of stop and after the Holy Cross was given to the monks.

Also, during the German occupation, on August 28, 1941 the Nazis captivated all the monks and despoiled the Monastery. When leaving, they grabbed the Holy Cross. It was returned on September 13, the eve of its celebration, and, in a miraculous way, as the plane in which it had been put at the Maleme airport could not take off to Germany. This happened when they delivered the Holy Cross to the police station of Chania in order to return it to the Monastery. 


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