Tour of the Monuments

Monastery of Zoodochos Pigi (Chrysopigi)


The Monastery of Zoodochos Pigi or Chrysopigi was founded in the middle of the 16th century by the doctor Ioannis Hartofylakas, southeast of the city of Chania, in a place where an older Monastery was operating. It has the shape of an elongated quadrilateral, with the monks’ cells and the rest of the premises being built around the Monastery. The catholicon, a three-aisled church with a dome, is dedicated to Panagia Zoodochos Pigi and is located in the middle of the building complex. The eastern wing of the Monastery was built after 1745, while the narthex and the two chapels of the church are additions of the 19th century.

The first testimony about this particular monastery can be found in 1584 and concerns a letter from the Patriarch of Alexandria Meletios Pigas to the hieromonk Dionysios of Chrysopigi, while in the following decades Hartofylakas would request permission to dedicate estates to his Monastery with letters to the Venetian administration. During the Venetian rule, the Monastery will develop financially, but also spiritually, as it will come into contact with the Patriarch of Alexandria, Kyrillo Loukaris.

In 1645 the abbot of the Monastery Philotheos Skoufos with 34 monks fought the Ottomans, however this action probably went unnoticed by the conquerors, as the monastery was not destroyed during the war. In 1654 it acquired the value of a cross and in 1681 it was united with the Monastery of Agios Eleftherios. In the following years, until the revolution of 1821, the Monastery will continue to develop financially and during this period it will acquire the majority of shares with huge estates, olive groves and vineyards. The brotherhood of the Monastery will take part in the revolution and will be forced to leave it. Her shares will be abandoned and the monastery will burn.

The first monks will return in 1838, while the headquarters of the Monastery, which had been transferred in 1826 to the Monastery of Agios Eleftherios, will return in 1848. From then on, a period of reconstruction of the monastery will begin with the restoration of the damages, but also the construction of new buildings. In the revolution of 1897 it was once again in serious danger, however the building complex of the Monastery did not suffer serious damage. During the 20th century the Monastery began to decline. Its enormous property was expropriated by the reserve fund and shortly afterwards, in 1941, the monks were forced to leave it, as it was turned into a command post for the Germans.

In 1976, it was converted into a women’s monastery and restored from the ground up by the new brotherhood, which has since continued the rich social and spiritual work of this historic monastic institution.


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