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The Monastery of Kremasta

The Monastery of Kremasta or Kremasti is located 14km north of Agios Nikolaos town, on the road to the village of Vrysses and the Lasithi Plateau.
This beautifully situated monastery on the slope of Kavalaras hill overlooks the town of Neapolis which is only 3km away.
It is built at an altitude of 397 m. and gives the impression that it is hanging, hence its name Kremasta which means “hanging” in Greek.
The monastery is dedicated to Archangels Michael and Gabriel and celebrates on 8 November.

An inscription which bears the date 1593, probably suggests the founding of the monastery by the monk Mitrophanes Agapitos.
The church was built later, in 1622 by Nikiforos Anifant.
It is single-naved, with a pointed barrel-vaulted arch.
The remarkable wooden altar-screen of the catholicon dates back around 1866 and was work of the woodcarver John Makrakis.

In 1821, Petros Dorotheos founded the school of the monastery, which played a very important role in the education of locals during the years of the Ottoman rule.

In 1866 the Turks destroy the monastery.
The monks manage to escape and hide the sacred relics and books in a nearby cave, but they were unfortunatly damaged by moisture.
It was occupied by the Turkish administrator of the Lassithi Prefecture, Kostis Adosidis Pasha in 1868 while Neapolis was being built in which years, the monastery reached its great prosperity.

It was renovated in 1922 by bishop Nektarios.
Most of the buildings of the monastery have now been restored, and it is an active nunnery in which an icon-painting workshop operates.
Another church dedicated to the myrrh bearers has just been completed outside the fortification of the original monastery.

To reach the monastery from Agios Nikolaos, take the new National road (E75) towards Heraklion, to the south-west.
Follow the signs to the villages of Neapolis and Vrysses.

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