According to tradition, in 1819, a three-member
committee went to Istanbul to ask for a firman (financing
by the Turkish Authorities) for building a Temple in the
site where the ruins of the older temple of Virgin Mary
where still standing. Instead of the firman, the Grand
Vizier (Turk Officer) gave a sealed envelope to be
delivered to the Turkish Commander in Heraklion,
containing the order of hanging the three members of
the committee to death. Indeed the Officer opened the
envelope and immediately led the Committee into prison
in Heraklion. One day before the hanging of the
committee, the executioner suffered a heart attack and
died. The Commander considered that a bad omen and
decided to allow the committee to build the church,
however within 40 days. The committee travelled to
Neapolis and the Christians from the surrounding
provinces willingly offered to help. There were so many
locals, that stones from the quarry to the Church were
transferred from hand to hand. Indeed, within the 40
days the church was ready and was inaugurated by the
Bishop of Petra, who was murdered by the Turks in 1821.
In 1972 Manolis and Maria Pytikakis were instrumental in
erecting a marble monument on the site of the Church of St.
George to remind future generations of the atrocity which
took place there in 1770. The Turks entered one night and
slaughtered the priest and the congregation. The blood
flooded the church and covered the forecourt. Since that
time it has been called “St. George the Bloodied”. On 25
March 1821 the Revolutionary Flag was raised with the
words “God Save Crete”.
Located 1 km from Neapoli this is a ruined Franciscan
monastery, which has typical Roman Catholic architecture.
Near the monastery, in Vigli place, is a modern sculpture.
On the first Sunday of May, Mothers’ Day is celebrated here.
Kremasta Monastery is located south of Neapolis town, on
the road connecting the town to the village of Vrisses,
It is built on a steep wooded hillside of Mount Kavalaras
and gives the impression that it’s hanging (Kremasti means
1593: The monk Mitrofanis Agapitos founded the
1622: Nikiforos Anifant built the church.
1821: Petros Dorotheos founded the school of the
monastery, which soon gained immense fame throughout
1866: The Turks destroyed the monastery. The monks
managed to escape and hide the sacred relics and books
of the monastery in a nearby cave, but they were severely
damaged by moisture.
1868: The Turkish commander of Lassithi, Kostis Adosidis
Pasha, settled in the monastery while he coordinated the
building of the Headquarters of Lassithi Prefecture in
Neapoli, the new capital of Lassithi.
1940: During the German Occupation, guerillas found
shelter in Kremasti.
1992: Bishop Nektarios renovated the monastery.