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The Monastery of Saint George in Karydi

The Monastery of Saint George in Karydi is located about 2km east of Vamos village in Apokoronas.
The monastery got its name from the settlement which existed at the site around 1600, abundant with walnut trees.
After being abandoned for many years, it finally was restored in 1996 and has been operating normally ever since.

Like all monuments of great interest the monastery has its own history.
When the Venetians were in Crete there was a settlement of a Venetian nobleman at the site. Beside his house there was the mill, an oil factory of the time.
Later, when the Turks conquered Crete, the strategic position of the monastery, on a passage which joined Sfakia and Vamos was of high importance. There were about 10 Greek Orthodox families here. The Turks forced them to either convert or to abandon their village.
Four families became Muslims to such extent that actually asked the Turks to destroy the small church of St. George the ruins of which are visible today. But the Turks hardly demolished churches and thus, chose to impose taxes at the priest of the church so as to eventually make him abandon it. The priest, however, struggling to find the money, addressed to the Monastery of Agia Triada of Tzagarolon which fortunately could afford to pay the taxes, hence the monastery was saved. The priest gratefully donated the church and its small fortune to the Monastery of the Holy Trinity.

And thus, the priests of the monastery of the Holy Trinity built the church of St. George in 1850 or 1880 and began to close the site in order to achieve dependency. They purchased the properties of the Muslim inhabitants and gradually it became an important place of work.
The first license given in Crete in order to build an olive oil factory was that for the specific site, dating back in 1829.
The old olive oil factory with its 12 arches is, until now, the trademark of the monastery. And even though the roof has collapsed the bases of four mills are still detectable.
The property of the monastery grew quickly due to deveral donations, even from Turks who had high respect of St George and his miracles.
There has been a time when the monastery owned 3600 olive trees apart from the numerous animals and vines. It produced up to 25 thousand kilos of oil, which was a unique case of oil production throughout the island of Crete.

The monastery of Saint George was without doubt a masterpiece of the time and the most interesting monument of folk architecture in the prefecture of Chania.

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