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There are documents concerning the Monastery since 1400. It was one of the most important monastic and spiritual centres of Crete. It was a centre of the revolution of 1866 against the Turks and, as a result, it was greatly damaged.
The Monastery' s Katholicon is a two-aisled church dedicated to St Antonius and the Apostle Thomas. The northern aisle is posterior to the rest of the church. The frescoes as well as the 15th century portable icons are unique specimens of the religious art of the Cretan Rennaisance. According to the tradition among the monastery's monks was the renowned Cretan painter Michael Damaskenos. The most important icons he painted for the monastery were transferred in Heraklion by the end of the 19th century and today are exhibited in the museum of St. Catherine of Sinai Monastery.
Another attraction is the 15th century monumental fountain, that adornes the entrance of the Monastery. The fountain bears a relief representation of Adam and Eve.
Restoration and consolidation works were carried out in the Katholicon and the monks' cells. The frescoes have also been restored. Today the Monastery is still a refuge of monastic life.
Between the villages of Voriza and Zaros is the Vrondisi Monastery.
It is located 50km southwest of Iraklion. It overlooks the plain of Mesara and
the Libyan Sea on one side while the peaks of Psiloritis dominate the other side.
It is a two-aisled church, and Saint Anthony and Saint Thomas are its patron saints.
The bell tower has an independent entrance and is composed of four arches. The
earliest written reference to the monastery is dated 1474. However, the monastery
is older than that and it may have been in existence since the second Byzantine
During Venetian rule, the monastery included notable painters and scholars in its community. Michalis Damaskinos, a famed painter of religious works, painted six of his best icons while at Vrondisi. His works combined elements of Byzantine and Renaissance art. These icons are now in the Museum of Agia Ekaterini in Iraklion.
As with many monasteries on Crete, Vrondisi played an important role during the various struggles of the Cretan population. It was the headquarters of Captain Michalis Korakas during the revolutions against the Turks in 1866 and 1878. The monastery and its community received sharp reprisals as a result of this revolutionary activity.
This text is cited Dec 2002 from the Crete TOURnet URL below, which contains images.
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