The Agarathos Monastery is 23km from Iraklion on an exit at 8km of the Iraklion - Agios Nikolaos highway. This women's convent, dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin, is one of the oldest monasteries in Crete. Manuscripts in the British Museum, dated 1559, provide evidence that it had an important library then. During Venetian times this monastery, as well as Agia Ekaterini in Iraklion, were educational centres and provided instruction for many important scholars. The name of the monastery comes from Agarathia, which means Jerusalem Sage because it is believed that an icon of the Panagia was found in this spot under a Jerusalem Sage bush. The church of the monastery is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. When the Turks invaded the island the icon of the Panagia and other valuables were sent by the Abbot to Kithera for protection. Many inscriptions in the monastery date from the Venetian era, although the present church is new.
This extract is cited Feb 2003 from the Crete TOURnet URL below, which contains images.
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