Preveli Monastery in Crete

The Holy Monastery of Preveli

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 River.
the holy monastery of preveli in crete
Preveli Monastery of Saint John the Theologian

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 Occupation Army.

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


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