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July 14, 2008

Moni Agias Triadas on Akrotiri

On the last day of our friends visit we paid a visit to a couple of monasteries. I believe this was a clever ploy on the part of Claire to ensure that I actually went along, rather than making some excuse about "it being six days since I'd done any work and actually I was going to disappear somewhere with my laptop if nobody minded".

We set of for the Akrotiri Peninsula, which is pretty close to us, but remains relatively unexplored since we don't usually have a car. Our first destination was Moni Agias Triadas. This is an absolutely beautiful monastery just a few kilometers away from Chania's airport.

There is a small museum include some old vestments and Church silver, and some icons. This included a particularly graphic depiction of the perils of the afterlife by Emmanuel Skordili from the 16th century. On one side of the icon souls are suffering in a sea of fire and being fed to giant monsters, whilst on the other side, souls are being frozen in a lake of ice and eaten by sea monsters. A very clear lesson in following the rules of the time for the devoted faithful.


The main church building inside the monastery complex is stunning, but sadly photographs are not allowed. I picked up a postcard of the centre-piece of the church, a portrait of Jesus Christ looking down in glory and splendour against a backdrop of stars, which is painted into the dome of the church.


Moni Agias Triada is still a working monastery, producing olive oil from the lands owned around the church, and the complex itself is well tended. Fortunately you could take pictures outside of the church, so you can see a bit of what it was like here.



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