Toplou monastery

Location:  Toplou, Toplou
toplou monastery #1

It is an historical monastery of the 15th century, which collapsed in the earthquake of 1612 and was rebuilt with the financial aid of the Venetians.


Toplou monastery

During the Ottoman conquest of Crete, the monastery was destroyed and devastated by the Turks. In 1704 the monastery was declared stauropegion. During the Ottoman occupation there was a school in the monastery, while, after 1870, it was founded there a school of mutual teaching.
The Monastery is a stauropegion fortress. The main building of 800 m2 has three floors, which are divided into cells, guest - houses, kitchens, the abbot' s residense and warehouses. The katholicon is a two-aisled church; the northern aisle is dedicated to the Virgin, and the southern posterior aisle, to St John the Theologian. The monastery' s characteristic bell tower bears relief crowns and crosses with inscriptions and the date 1558.
The 13th Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities carried out works of consolidation and restoration. In the Monastery, there is also an interesting Museum.
Monastery of Kiria Akrotiriani Toplou: 20 kms East of Sitia and about 8 kms of Palekastro village. The monastery is one of the most important of Crete, It has been named Toplou, for the first time, by the Turks because of a small cannon (top) which was there from the period of the Venetians in order to be protected from the pirates. Its today's aspect belongs to the 17th century, it has the shape of a square fortress and covers 800m with three floors, while it is surrounded by a wall. Its characteristic is its bell-tower, of 33 m of hight with relieves dated from 1558. Among the important icons of the monastery, which are accommodated in a museum in the first floor, the portable icon of Ioannis Kornaros "Megas i Kirie" of 1770 is distinguished. The monastery honors to the names of Theotokos and Agios Ioannis Theologos and celebrates the 26th of September, when a big festivity takes place with a lot of pilgrims.  


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