Saturday, 13 April 2019

The Monastery of Agia Triada Tsangarolon


 sits in a large olive grove. The long stately driveway is lined with pairs of cypress trees, and on arrival you are greeted by this impressive renaissance stairway. The steps lead on up to a courtyard filled with orange trees, and entrance to the church. The monastic community is now very small but it still plays an important role in the religious and economic life of Crete. 
A Byzantine Imperial yellow flag showing a double-headed eagle and crown flies at the entrance. The flag does not have any official status in Greek Orthodox Churches, but shows an allegiance to the Patriarch of Constantinople. This is not dissimilar to the way that Catholic churches around the world fly the Vatican Flag.
The monastery has lots of cats which are very happy to be stroked and photographed but pictures showing the other incumbents are not allowed.

The church is built in a typically Byzantine architectural cruciform style and has three domes. At the front there are two pairs of Doric columns and a pair of Corinthian columns on either side of the main entrance.


The interior of the church is colourful and extremely ornate.

The monastery library has many fine, rare books, and the museum houses a collection of icons, and silver.
They produce and export organic olive oil, fine wines, honey, vinegar and soap made using their olive oil - all of which are highly regarded.

Having been given samples of their wines, and homemade bread dipped in various different flavoured oils and vinegars - all agreed that it was excellent.

30 comments:

  1. Hello Rosemary, Who could guess that that old doorway would lead to such splendors inside? I loved the details on that chandelier--who says that they have to be made with ordinary chains and piping? I want that giant wooden screw (from an olive or wine press?) from the museum-like corridor. You should have taken it away for me. Monks are not supposed to be attached to worldly possessions, anyway.
    --Jim

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    1. Hello Jim - the chandelier (choros as it is known in Orthodox churches) is made from pure silver. It picks up every beam of sunlight then scatters it around.
      The artefacts down that corridor were very interesting - old sewing machines, typewriters, radios, telephones, grinding machines, gadgets connected to the wine and olive oil process etc. It was obvious that over hundreds of years nothing had ever been thrown out when replaced.

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  2. WOW! Looking at the outside you'd never guess the beauty and splendour on the inside. It's truly beautiful. That chandelier is a sight to behold! Your photos are so bright, clear and colourful it really brings everything to life. I'm really enjoying sharing your wonderful holiday
    When we've had opportunity to go away we love to visit old churches, abbeys, monasteries and cathedrals. In Sept '17, the last time we had a few days holiday, we visited Byland Abbey, just outside Thirsk. Best, Jane xx

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    1. With its ochre walls, orange trees, and warm sunshine, the courtyard was a delight to behold as we stepped inside. It foretold of the splendours that we were likely to see once inside the church, and it did not disappoint.

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  3. The great thing about travelling in Crete is that you can get two Easters if you come home early enough. I am going to put a picture up for you on my next post.

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    1. Easter Sunday in Crete is April 28 this year, so we didn't time it quite right - I am looking forward to seeing your picture.

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    2. I can't find it right now but I will!

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  4. A truly lovely place - and very peaceful I'm sure.
    No matter how often we continue visiting such beautiful churches, cathedrals, monasteries etc., especially in Europe, they always surprise and are filled with with new beauty to behold. . . . and so often friendly cats.

    Good bread, oil, honey and wine too, wow! Sounds a perfect place to retire!!!!!!

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    1. The ambience in these historic places is tangible - I love them.

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  5. Beautiful. I would love to taste some of the olive oil.

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    1. Nothing beats products made on the premises.

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  6. It looks lovely.
    The outside looks as if it needs a good scrub :)
    Inside the church is looking so beautiful.

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    1. It is a beautiful Byzantine/Venetian Monastery.

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  7. A beautiful post to read on a chilly Sunday morning in England.

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  8. The opulence and beauty of the inside of the church is amazing. Another interesting and beautiful post from you !

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    1. Loved the whole setting for this monastery Jane.

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  9. How interesting Rosemary. I was wondering what that flag was- it was outside so many churches in Ithaka and Kefalonia. And, I've been talking with an American cousin about going to Crete too - next year. I hope you write lots more about it!

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    1. I found out about the flag from a really knowledgeable Greek guy who travelled with us Jenny. I have actually written six previous posts here on Crete, but they are mixed up with ones about Devon. There was only a just period between the two trips.

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  10. Like the orange trees and the colourful church.

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    1. That along with the sunshine were the perfect compliment to one another.

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  11. Dearest Rosemary,
    That was quite a treasure trove, especially the interior treasures.
    So many historic pieces and still being put to use for producing unique oils, wines and soaps.
    Did not understand what you meant with: 'pictures showing the other incumbents are not allowed'...
    Sending you hugs,
    Mariette

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  12. Dear Mariette - the only other incumbents were the Monks.

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  13. I like the sun kissed walls of the beautiful structure.

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