One of the most important religious monuments of Kissamos and the whole island is the Holy Monastery of Gonia in the northwest of Chania region. It was built at the beginning of the 17th century in honor of the Holy Theotokos by the monks Vlasios the Cypriot and Benedict Tzagarolos. It is located one kilometer north of Kolimbari along the peninsula of Spatha and just 11km from Azure Beach Villas.
The monastery is known as Lady of the Angels Monastery of Gonia (Gonia means Corner) due to its location on the western edge-corner of the bay and also as Monastery of Panagia Odigitria, which means in Greek “Monastery of Mother Mary the Leader”.
This fortress-monastery has a commanding view over the gulf of Chania. The architecture is very interesting and it follows the Venetian style. The main church has a narthex, a dome, and chapels surrounded by a courtyard. The monks’ cells are situated around the courtyard along with the abbot’s quarters, the refectory, and storehouses. Numerous inscriptions on the walls testify to the historical importance of this monastery. The monastery was frequently used as a remote fortress by Cretan rebels, who had the support of the monks. A cannonball lodged in the wall on the side facing the sea is a reminder of Turkish assaults.
Inside the monastery, you can find the remarkable Ecclesiastical Museum of the Monastery of Gonia. There you can find an important collection of precious post-Byzantine icons, relics, and other rare religious treasures. from the 14th century.
The Monastery has contributed to the development of various facilities in the region of Kolymbari, such as the High School, the Agricultural Association, the Union of Agricultural Cooperatives, the Center for Rural Development, the Ecclesiastical Boarding School, the Stadium, the County Court and the institution of the Orthodox Academy of Crete.
Visit the Gonia Monastery and its ecclesiastical museum and create memorable experiences by traveling back in time.