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The Aistratigos monastery is built in the midst of a picturesque landscape, on the northwest of the Epanosifi monastery, 2 km from the Karkadiotissa village and 23 km from Heraklion city.

The area is forested and confirms the claim that monasteries were usually built at the most stunning locations. The whole area is wooded with oak trees, cypress and other trees, while two nearby springs used to provide the monastery with water.The Aistratigos monastery was operating until the first few years of the Ottoman occupation. The land of the monastery belonged to a Turkish Aga, who in turn donated it to the Epanosifi monastery. Only the temple with its 15th century murals and a few cells are still preserved today.



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Αη Γιώργης Επανωσήφης
Αη Γιώργης Επανωσήφης 2698 hits
It is one of the biggest monasteries on Crete. Situated at a distance of 32 kilometres from the city of Heraklion and 2 km far from Metaxochori village, the monastery is dedicated to ‘Agios Georgios’ and is celebrated on 23rd of April and on 3rd of November. 

The religious festivals that take place on these dates constitute important events during which one can watch stock-raisers come to the monastery holding lambs and cheese which they leave at the church as offerings to the Saint.

At the small museum of the monastery important relics and icons are kept. Make sure you see the illustrated manuscripts with excellent miniatures of the 17th and 19th century found there but also, in the shop of the museum, the books that were written by the late calligrapher monk named Gabriel Mamougiorgis. The point is not to forget to visit the museum…

The monastery was probably founded during the 16th and 17th century but it developed during the period of the Turkish occupation (1669 – 1898). It acquired vast property and played the role of a centre of resistance against the Turks. The great number of monks who live there nowadays is an excellent example of how the island’s monastic tradition is preserved.