The monastery of Agia Triada (Holy Trinity) of Tzagarolon
is one of the most important monastic complexes of the late Venetian period in Crete. According to the historical sources - among them the Venetian archives -
the monastery was built by the brothers Jeremiah and Lavrentio Jagarolon, descendants of a great Venetian-Cretan family. The construction began in 1611 and
was completed after the fall of Chania to the Ottoman Turks in 1645. During the Ottoman period the monastery was known as the "Selvili Manastir"
(the "Monastery with the cypress trees"). The outbreak of the Greek War of Independence in 1821 forces the monks to abandon the monastery which was then
looted and burnt down by the Turks. The period of desolation ended in 1834 when the reconstruction of the monastery began followed by a new thriving phase.
Architecturally the complex combines the typical Athos Monastic style - namely the Byzantine tradition - with morphological, mainly decorative, elements
of the western ecclesiastical architecture.
The main church (katholikon) of Holy Trinity is a significant example of the
Cretan Renaissance. It belongs to the circular domed temple type with three niches, narthex and
chapels on the ground and the upper level. Apart from the residences for the
monks, the complex also included workshops, stables, oil and wine mill, cellars. Impressive is the
main entrance of the monastery, also a remnant of the Venetian impact.
Today a small but valuable collection of icons and ecclesiastical heirlooms that have survived the catastrophes of the past is hosted in the monastery,
confirming its erstwhile great wealth. Among the most important exhibits are a 12th century manuscript and an ensemble of 16th - 17th century icons, including the
"Enthroned Christ", the "Source of Life" and the "Second Coming" (1635-1645), works attributed to the artist from Chania Father Emmanuel Skordilis, an important
representative of the Cretan School of icon painting.