The Holy Monastery of Preveli in Southern Rethymnon area, Crete
The Monastery of Preveli is aged since the end of the 17th century.
It flourished during the 18th and 19th century.
Two different buildings consist the Monastery:
- the Monastery of Saint John
the Theologian, which is closer to the sea and is also referred to
as Piso (back) Moni (monastery).
- the monastery of Saint John
the Baptist, also referred as Kato (lower) Moni (monastery), which
is closer to the Megas (great) River.
The Monastery of Preveli has always offered support and shelter to
all the people who needed them. The abbot Melhisedek Tsouderos was
one of the local leaders in the revolution against the Turkish occupation
(1821). Abbot Tsouderos' family was a branch of the royal family of
the Byzantine Empire.
Much later, during the German occupation, the Monastery of Preveli
became a shelter for the foreign troops that were trapped in
Crete and hunted by the German Army. Two escape missions were organized
and the troops were transferred safely to Egypt. However the second
mission became known to the German Army and they tried to arrest the
abbot Agathagelos Lagouvardos. Abbot Agathagelos was early informed
about the german plans and managed to escape to Middle East. The German
Army arrived at the Monastery on August 25, 1941 and interrogated and
arrested the monks. The german soldiers caused severe damage to the
Monastery and transferred the arrested monks to the Firkas prison.
Later they were released due to the strong pressure from various important
persons of Crete. The Monastery never gave up its action against the
The Monastery of Preveli has always promoted the art of icon- painting
and many important icons are kept in its museum.
the famous palm tree forest
in Limni, Preveli