Paliani Monastery

Paliani Monastery

It is one of the oldest monasteries in Crete, south of the village of Venerato (20 km south of Heraklion) and was built in the 6th century on the ruins of an ancient temple, as attested by the capitals in its courtyard. It is a nunnery.

Its main church is a three-aisled basilica dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and has been in operation since the first centuries of the Byzantine Empire, while it flourished during the Venetian period.

Behind the temple there is an 1,800-year-old myrtle tree. Legend has it that it is connected to the image of Virgin Mary. The monastery of Paliani is known for this sacred tree of Panagia Myrtidiotissa. Healing properties are attributed to the leaves of the myrtle tree.

The monastery functions as a museum with icons, sacred relics, and various books of great historical value.

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