Vossakos monastery
Vossakos monastery
Vossakos monastery
Vossakos monastery
Vossakos monastery

Vossakos Monastery, also known as the Monastery of the Holy Cross, is an Orthodox Christian monastery located near Doxaro in the Rethymno regional unit of Crete, Greece. The monastery is renowned for its fortress-like architecture and its historical significance, having played a role in various Cretan uprisings.

Construction Period:

While the exact founding date is unknown, the monastery was operational during the Venetian period and gained stavropegial status (direct subordination to the Patriarchate) in 1676.
An inscription above the church entrance indicates the katholikon (main church) was first built in 1195.
The current katholikon dates to the late 19th century, built on the site of an older 14th-15th century church.
The monastery gate was constructed in 1669, and an impressive fountain to the west of the katholikon was built in 1673.


  • Vossakos Monastery is situated in the Tallaia Mountains (also known as Kouloukonas) on a small plateau.
  • It is accessible via an 8-kilometer paved road from Kampos Doxarou.


The monastery has a roughly rectangular shape, with the eastern side being slightly smaller than the others.
The northern side is partially built into the rock due to the slope of the terrain.

Historical Significance:

Vossakos Monastery served as a refuge and support center for Cretan rebels during various uprisings against Ottoman rule.
In the 1821 revolution, the monastery was burned down by the Ottomans, and most of the monks were killed.
The monastery was rebuilt and flourished again in the mid-19th century, even funding the construction of schools.
During the 1866 revolution, the monastery provided care for Cretan fighters and engaged in philanthropic activities.

Current Status:

  • The monastery was declared a protected monument in 1935.
  • After being abandoned in the mid-20th century, the monastery underwent restoration in 1998 and has since been operational again.
  • Additional Notes:
  • The name “Vossakos” is believed to have Doric origins, meaning “cattle pen.”
  • The monastery is dedicated to the Holy Cross.
  • The surrounding Tallaia Mountains are associated with various myths and legends, including those of Talos and Digenis Akritas.
Paved Road
Open to Public

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