Preveli Monastery known also as Saint John the Theologian (Evangelist) is located on the southern part of Crete at a distance of 32 km from the center of Rethymno.
The monastery was established most likely by the Venetians during the occupation of Crete and played an important role in the wars of the country against the Turks and the Germans as many fighters were sheltered in the monastery.
The monastery houses the famous Benediction Cross. The cross was carried in the front line of every battle to encourage the fighters. Tradition says there were many occasions where the cross was removed from the monastery however it always returned.
During the revolt against the Turks in 1823, the cross fell in the hands of Genoese sailors that tried to leave the island, however their ship stopped in the middle of the sea and they had to return the cross. Another instance wants the cross in the hands of the Germans during WW2 which tried to send the cross to Germany however none of their airplanes would take off and the cross was eventually taken back to the monastery.
Entrance Fee: 2.50 euro
Opening Times: Monday – Saturday 09:00 – 13:30 and 15:30 – 19:00, Sunday 09:00 – 19:00 (April 1st – October 31st)