The Agios Ioannis Monastery


If you go on the national road (the highway) from Villa Talea in the direction eastwards towards Bali you will after a few kilometres find a sign to your right indicating the way to the Monastery of Agios Ioannis Prodromos (John the Baptist). The road takes you up in the mountains behind the highway with exceptional views at several places of the coastline around Bali. When you can go no further, you're at the Monastery. The Monastery is open for visitors daily from 9 to 12am and again from 4 to 7pm.

The two aisled church of the monastery has some 17th century frescoes. Above one of the entrances the date 1635 is seen, but tradition has, that an earlier, smaller Byzantine church was incorporated in the present one.

There are decorated fountains and a nice tranquil garden in front of the building with the monks' cells. The buildings have been renovated and the whole area is very well kept. Today the Monastery is a quiet place with only one or two monks living there. But like other monasteries on Crete it used to be very active in the struggle for freedom during the Ottoman occupation.

In 1866 the Turkish navy bombarded the monastery as a result of its role in the resistance.

Map with the location of Villa Talea indicated
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