The Abbey of Agkarathos is 2 km far away from Villa Agrielia

Τhe Abbey Agarathou is dedicated to the Dormition of Virgin Mary. It celebrates on 15th of August. The temple is diklitos. The other klitos is dedicated to the Saint Minas.


The name Agkarathos is pre-hellenic and emanates from the plant “agarathia”, a species of bush. The abbey took this name because according to the tradition the ancient icon of Virgin Mary was found under an agarathia, where the church was later built. Today the icon can be seen at Kythira.


The temple was erected in the place of an older temple and was inaugurated in 1894. It is not known when the Abbey was founded. It is one of the most ancient in Crete. It is reported in a manuscript dated in 1532 in Markiani Library of Venice. There is a date 1585 written on the northern gate of abbey and the date of 1583 on the southern gate, while near the current entry the date 1554 is written on a sarcophagus.


At the right side of the entry there is vaulted deposit with a sign that writes that the present work is done by Maximo Loykareos ( the brother of Cyrille Loykari). At the period of Venetian domination the monastery constituted nursery garden of education. There were many Abbots that served in the abbey, who later occupied patriarchal thrones. The heirlooms, including the ancient icon of Virgin Mary of Orphan and the documents of Abbey were transported in Kythira. It is worthy to be said that the monastery played also an important role at the war against the Turks.


In 1646 Cretans under the command of the abbot Athanassios Christoforos were gathered and they fought against the Turks. At the Ottoman domination the first Metropolite of Crete, Neofytos Patelaros, resided in Agaratho and he managed the order for the destruction of the monastery to be suspended, thanks to his friendly relations with All Achmet Kioprouli.

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