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Vrondisi Monastery, Zaros

#3 of 7 in Things to do in Zaros
Church · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
Vrontisi Monastery is a 14th-century Eastern Orthodox monastery situated between the villages of Zaros and Vorizia of the Heraklion regional unit in south-central Crete, Greece. The monastery is roughly 50 km southwest of Heraklion and is built at an altitude of 550 m on the south slopes of Mt. Ida, having a panoramic view of the Mesara Plain and the Asterousia Mountains. The origin of its name is not clear; according to the prevailing explanation it was named after its founder whose surname was Vrontisis.HistoryVenetian archives contain several documents referring to the Vrontisi monastery. The earliest written reference dates back to 1474. However, it is older than that but the exact year of its establishment is unknown. Vrontisi was established as a metochion of the nearby Varsamonerou Monastery. The former fell into decline after 1500 whereas Vrontisi began to flourish and reached its apogee as a regional monastic and spiritual centre during the 16th and 17th centuries. After the fall of Crete to the Turks, Arkadi Monastery was deserted and its monks fled to Vrontisi. According to tradition, Michael Damaskinos, the renowned painter of the Cretan School, is believed to have served as a monk at Vrontisi. Six of Damaskinos' best known icons were kept at the monastery until 1800 and are nowadays displayed at the St. Catherine of Sinai museum in Heraklion.
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  • We visited the monastery during our winter vacations in Zaros village. The monastery has a very nice view, it's up the mountain. Nice architecture and an old water source-fountain worth the visit.  more »
  • Just in front of the entrance to the monastery, there is a 15th century Venetian fountain with Adam and Eve reliefs. Local people come here with many plastic bottles and fill them with water from the....  more »
  • Silent and peaceful, as a monastery should be.
  • Great ! You must visit this place!
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