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Ktima Toplou



~ 1h
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Overnight Stay

Not provided
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Guided Tour

Up to 30 persons

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Up to 30 persons
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Toplou is renowned as a Cretan monastery of enormous interest. The monks produce and sell excellent organic products such as wine, olive oil and raki, under the brand Toplou.
The Holy Stavropegic Monastery of Saint John the Theologian (Toplou) is located in northeastern Crete and is one of the island’s most important monasteries. Resembling a castle, it was built in the 14th century in a remote region. In its early years, it was called Theotokos Akrotiriani (‘of the Cape’) because it is situated at Cape Sidero. It was renamed Toplou during Ottoman rule and has been in its present form since the 17th century. The monastery’s emblematic 33-meter-high belfry is imposing.
Toplou monastery participated in national struggles and has suffered from frequent attacks during its history. It was looted and destroyed by pirates in 1498 and by the Knights of Malta in 1530. At the beginning of the Greek War of Independence of 1821 Turks slaughtered the monks, the monastery was deserted and relics of inestimable value were looted. In 1840 a modern school was established there to educate the children of this remote area of the island. In 1869, the year of the Cretan Revolution, Toplou was again destroyed by the Turks in retaliation for the participation of monk Melchizedek in the revolutionary committee of Sitia, while in 1941 and during the German occupation of Greece, a radio operated in the monastery for communicating with the Allies in Cairo. As a result, the abbot and the monks were arrested and executed.
In Toplou monastery there are 15th-century icons that, along with other beautiful ones, show the stages of development of the School of Constantinople, which influenced Cretan art.
The value of Toplou’s icons is indicative of the impressive level of education of the monks. Some of the icons are works of Ioannis Cornaro, among them the icon “Great art Thou, o Lord, and Marvelous are Thy works” of 1770, the icon “Unwithering Rose” of 1771 and an icon of St. Anastasia the Deliverer of Potions.
Toplou celebrates the Assumption of St. John the Theologian and Evangelist with an annual feast every September 26th.

Visitors will be guided to the monastery’s winery facilities and will be informed about the monastery’s wine production. The tour is concluded by a tasting session.


Nearby Producers

Not Available

Wine, alcoholic beverages
Tour Languages
Greek, English, French
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