It is a stauropegian monastery founded probably in the 16th century.
It played an important part during the Cretan revolutions and particularly during
the revolution of 1866, when the rebels took refuge there. It was an extremely
wealthy monastery with a large real estate property. In 1831, the first Greek
School was founded there.
The Katholicon is a two-aisled church dedicated to St John the Theologian and the Annunciation of the Virgin. It was built in 1836 but has been repaired many times during the following years.
Inside the monastery, there are cells, the old abbot' s quarters that was transformed to a guest-house, the new abbot' s quarters of 1900 as well as a library.
The restoration and consolidation works were carried out by the 13th Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities.
This text is cited Jan 2003 from the Hellenic Ministry of Culture URL below.
The Monastery of Preveli is situated 37 km from Rethymno and includes
two monasteries, which are 3 km apart: The "Lower Monastery", which is deserted
and the "Back Monastery", which is still run and can be visited. According to
tradition the name of the monastery, which has been sanctioned after the 17th
century, is either derived from an inhabitant of the village of Preveliana in
the prefecture of Heraklio, who, after having committed a murder, found shelter
in this area, or it is derived from one of the restorers of the monastery.
Towering above the central precinct is the two-aisled church of Aghios Ioannis the Theologist and of the Annunciation. To the West and to the South of the church the cells and the abbot's quarters are situated. The church was built during recent years on the remains of an older Byzantine church. The fountain with the inscription of the foundation year of 1701 is situated on a lower level, as is the Museum of the Monastery, which displays vestments, church utensils, icons etc.
During the Turkish occupation the monastery played a significant social and charitable role since it owned various pieces of land, which Christians had donated in order to save them from the grasp of the conquerors. Even a school had been operating inside the monastery, and during the Cretan revolution in 1866 a large number of partisans was given shelter. In 1867 the monastery was completely destroyed by the Turks, and in 1897 it was re-built.
This text is cited Nov 2003 from the Tourism Promotion Committee of Rethymno Prefecture URL below, which contains images.
Preveli Monastery, located in a picturesque is setting best seen from the approaching road. The Upper Preveli Monastery dates from the sixteenth or seventeenth century. The Venetians built the double-aisle basilica dedicated to Agios Ioannis the Theologian. The Turks destroyed the church in 1867 and it was restored by monks in 1911. Due to its strategic location the monastery was a base during the struggles for independence. Rebel ships landed there during the revolution of 1866 and the monastery was a drop-off point for ships delivering guns to the freedom fighters. In 1867 it was destroyed by the Turks. It is also famous for its role in the evacuation of Allied troops after the Battle of Crete in the Second World War, an event commemorated by a plaque in the courtyard. The monastery houses a gold cross containing a piece of the True Cross and precious stones. There is also a museum containing books, religious vestments, property registers and other relics.
This text is cited Dec 2002 from the Crete TOURnet URL below, which contains images.
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