The Monastery of Panagia Faneromeni in Trachilas area was one of the greatest and most famous monasteries in Crete. It was founded in the 15th century by Ioannikios and restored and expanded in the 17th century by Gennadios. Probably it was destroyed in 1538 by Barbarossa but it was certainly destroyed in 1829 by the Turks. From 1870 to 1901 it was a glebe of the Toplou Monastery but then it was transferred to the parish of Skopi.

The monastery was named after an icon of Virgin Mary which, according to tradition, was discovered by a shepherd in the cave next to the temple. The shepherd took the icon with him but when he got home he realized that the icon had “returned” to the point he had found it. The same thing happened for two more days and the icon continued to “revealing” itself in the cave, and hence was left at its initial position, where the monastery of Faneromeni (the Greek word for the Revealed) was built.

It is a two-aisled church dedicated to the Assumption of Mary and Saint George, while it has frescoes dating back to 1455. There are beautiful old icons and epigraphies among which there is one written in beautiful elegiac couplets about the church restoration and one of Pantogalos Brothers. The caves in the gorge, which were used by the hermits of the monastery are remarkable.

Today, several buildings have been reconstructed. Six of the medieval architectural style cells, the oven and an old olive mill have been preserved.

Unfortunately, the monastery is no longer inhabited, but in the mid-August it is flooded with pilgrims hosted in hostels and there is a big festival as well as the procession of the icon of Virgin Mary.

The monastery is located in an idyllic landscape. East of Platani there is the beautiful gorge of Agioi Pantes that was recently labeled and featured. It is a wonderful naturalistic route.

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