The Monastery of Saint George in Karydi

The Monastery of Saint George in Karydi (in Apokoronas Province) is located about 2km east of Vamos village. The monastery was abandoned for many years but was restored in 1996 and today it is operating normally. The monastery is the unique of Apokoronas province and is the most interesting monument of folk architecture in the prefecture of Chania.

The trademark of the monastery is the old olive oil factory (fabrica) with the 12 arches, which’s roof has collapsed. There still four mills, of which only their bases survive because the millstones have been removed. The large size of the factory and the existence of four oil mills, the unique case throughout Crete, witnesses the enormous quantities of oil produced here.

Before the foundation of the monastery, the area was a settlement and fief of a Venetian nobleman, whose house is still preserved. When the Turks came to Crete, they forced the locals to either abandon the village or to become Muslims. 4 families changed their faith to such extent, that they eventually hated Christians. They asked the Turks to turn the Church of St. George, located in the village, to a mosque. Thus, they imposed exhaustive taxes to the priest of the church so as to force him leave the church and its land property. However, the priest granted the church to the monastery of Agia Triada Tzagarolon, which could then pay its taxes.

Since then, several monks of Agia Triada came to Karydi and built the new and larger temple with its current form. The property of the monastery grew rapidly, as many Christians donated their land to the monastery.