Agios Panteleimon Monastery

The monastery of Saint Panteleimon is located 25km west of Heraklion and 3km south of Fodele, in a wooded area of orange and olive groves. The monastery was built with fortress architecture. Today a part of the walls and the beautiful entrance to the monastery are preserved.

The exact date of establishment of the monastery is unknown. Some believe that it was founded after 1539, when the monks of the seaside monastery of St. Anthony in Pera Galini were attacked by pirates and moved to the mainland. Indeed, the monastery, except Saint Panteleimon, is also dedicated to Saint Anthony. However, it is probable that there was already the monastery of Saint Panteleimon here, otherwise the name of St. Anthony would have prevailed as the patron of the monastery.

The monastery played an important role in the struggle of the Cretans against the Turks. The Turks, in retaliation, looted and destroyed the monastery several times, but it never stopped operating. The monastery houses some icons of the 17th century, like the Second Coming of Michael Damascenos, St. Onourfios and All Saints.