Holy Monastery of Kremasta
The monastery of Kremasta is located at a distance of around 2,5 kilometres from Neapolis on the slopes of Mount Kavallara on the route towards the Plateau of Lasithi. According to the dedicatory inscription on the lintel of the catholicon, it was founded in 1593 by Metrophanes Agapetos. From around the middle of the 19th century until the beginning of the 20th century, a thriving ‘learning by teaching’ school was operating at the monastery while, during the period 1868-1871, it was the seat and home of the Christian governor of the province of Lasithi, Kostis Adosides-Pasas. The initial male monastery became a female one from 1993. Seven nuns live there today. Built on sloping ground, the monastery develops at a gradient, from north to south, around the courtyard in the shape of an L. The barrel-vaulted, single-nave catholicon dominates the rest of the buildings, built at the highest point. The artful gilt wood-carved altar screen of the 19th century which has icons of the same period and an icon of the Cretan School, with Christ enthroned of the 17th century, deserves special reference. Even though it is hidden from view, the altar of the catholicon which was dedicated in 1622 by the monk Nikephoros Anyfantes and has the form of Christ in relief and sculpted decoration with vine leaves, also deserves special mention. The present guest house where, according to tradition, a Secret School functioned during the period of the Turkish occupation, as well as the pre-industrial olive-press that has been transformed into a refectory, are the architecturally interesting spaces of the monastery.