The new Monastery of Philosophos, which was built in order to replace
the earlier, Byzantine one, lies in the western part of the Lousios gorge and
was founded at the middle of the 17th century. The catholicon (main church) is
a cross-in-square domed church of the composite, four-column type, with plain
facades and poor brickwork decoration. The
wall paintings inside the church are dated to 1663 and are the work of Victor,
a representative of the Cretan School. The church also has an impressive wooden-carved
The new catholicon was built by the monks of the new monastery and
was painted at the expense of Mavraidis Pasha from Stemnitsa. From the mid-17th
to the mid-18th century the new monastery housed the school of the Gortyn clergy
which was attended by important people of the Church (e.g. Patriarch Gregory V).
Between 1834 and 1836 the monastery was abolished with the decision of the Bavarian
regency, its property was confiscated and sold to individuals.
The building of the cells to the SW of the catholicon has been consolidated
and restored and access passages have been constructed by the Archaeological Service.
The north wing of the cells building and the catholicon are going to be restored
soon. Today, the monastery is used as a convent for monks, and is a department
of the Monastery of Timios Prodromos (St. John the Forerunner) at Stemnitsa.
Many religious buildings have been located in the gorge of Lousios,
including churches, monasteries, hermitages as well as secular buildings such
as water-mills, gunpowder-mills, tobacco-mills etc. Some of the most important
religious buildings are the Old Monastery of Panaghia (Our Lady) Philosophou,
built in the 10th century, the Monastery of Timios Prodromos, dated to the end
of the 16th century, the Monastery of Aimyales, the old and new monastery of Atsicholos
and St. Andrew at Gortyna.