The monastery of Preveli, located 37km south of Rethymnon is built on a height with a fantastic view to the Libyan sea. Built on the western slopes of Megalos Potamos, the exit of Kourtaliotiko Gorge, an area with tropical vegetation,the monastery is an impressive setting, unique in natural beauty. Nearby lies one of the most famous beaches in Crete, the palm grove of Preveli Beach.



The monastery was probably built in the 16th century and consists of two main complexes. It played an important role during the Turkish occupation. The monks sold all the monastery’s belongings and bought weapons and ammunition to fight against the Turkish rule. In 1866 it sheltered 1500 freedom fighters and it was also a point of departure for many refugees who abandoned their villages to go to mainland Greece.



The history is repeated during the German occupation in the Second World War. The monastery’s museum houses a gold cross which contains a piece of the True Holy Cross and is decorated with precious stones. It is said that this cross works wonders. Two attempts were made to steal it by the Turks and Nazis. Neither of them was successful. The monastery became desolate in 1970.


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