Monastery of Virgin Mary Odigitria Kyra Gonia

photo: ekklisiaonline

The beautiful monastery of Panagia Odigitria is located approximately 26km west of Chania and 2.5 km from Kolympari at the base of Spatha Peninsula. The monastery is also known as the Monastery of Our Lady of the Angels of Gonia (corner) because of its location on the western edge of the Gulf of Chania.

The monastery was founded in the 17th century and it soon flourished as in this site there was a rich ascetic tradition. The monastery played an important role in local history and was a pocket of resistance against all occupiers of Crete. For this reason it was destroyed many times by various conquerors, and even today there is a bullet in its eastern wall. The monastery complex is surrounded by a high wall and the temple is dedicated to the Virgin Mary the Leader – Odigitria ( August 15 ).

Around the temple there are the other buildings of the convent (cells , abbey , dining halls, cellars etc.). In the land of the monastery there is also the Orthodox Academy of Crete, gym, swimming pool, school, a boarding school, county court etc. Its museum has old icons and relics, and therein served as abbots important personalities including Misael Apostolides, teacher of Greek, king Otto and first rector of the University of Athens, Joachim Tzagarolos, Parthenius Kelaidis and Parthenius Pierides.