Excursions / Tours

Moni Gonias - Rotonda Monastery Tour

 

The seaside Monastery of Panagia Odigitria is located at the base of the peninsula Spatha, about 26km west of Chania and 2.5km north of Kolimbari. The monastery is also known as Lady of the Angels Monastery of Gonia
It was founded at this position in the 17th century and soon flourished as a rich monastic tradition was developed in Spatha and the monks soon gathered in Gonia. The Monastery played an important role in local history. It has always been a shelter for the rebels of Crete and, thus, it was destroyed many times by the various conquerors. This is also witnessed by a canon ball stuck in the east wall. moni gonia2
The initial church of the 14th century is located in the current cemetery, near the present monastery complex. The complex is surrounded by a tall wall, resembling a Venetian castle. The temple is dedicated to the Virgin Hodhegetria. All around there are several other buildings of the monastery like monk cells, abbey, dining room, stores, cellars, etc. The monastery also houses the Orthodox Academy of Crete, gym, pool, schools and county court. In the museum of the monastery you can see some very old icons (such these of Constantine Palaiokapas. The Rotonda church of Archangel Michael is one of the finest Byzantine monuments located at village Episkopi, Kissamos province, where it operated as a diocese (episkopi) during the second Byzantine Period. The yard housed a Byzantine cemetery (7- 8th century) and today we see traces of the episcopal buildings. Here lived the bishop of Kisamos Melchizedek, who was hanged by the Turks in 1821 in the Square of Splantzia in Chania. moni gonia3 The church  has circular mastoid dome, like the temple of the Rotunda in Thessaloniki. There is still only a third temple of that type in the Balkans. The Rotunda of Kissamos dates back from the 6th century and its floor is decorated with mosaics with various plant, animal and geometric representations.

 

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Moni Gonias - Rotonda Monastery Tour
Time: 3h, 50km Taxi 90 , Minibus 130

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