Agia Marina Monastery in Voni, Heraklion: one of the major pilgrimage places of Crete
Overview: It's a place of spiritual importance. The feast day of Saint Marina is rather a religious festival attracting many pilgrims not only from central and eastern Crete, but also from the rest of the island and Greek mainland. The saint is considered to be miraculous, especially as a patron saint for sick children. Many pilgrims walk all the way all the way from Heraklion, or their village, for 2, 3 or even 4-5 hours, day and night, in order to visit the Monastery and show their devotion to the Saint. Those days of the religious festival, while driving to the Monastery you can spot many walkers on the road. The festival is like an open market, while in the village Voni several local barbecues sell amazing quantities of pork souvlaki and the local dish kapriko (roasted pork) during the evening.
Location: The monastery of Agia Marina is located 25 km to the SE of #Heraklion, less than a kilometer to the south of the village #Voni. The location is excellent in the hinterland of Heraklion, characteristic of the Cretan Landscape, comprised by several hills with vineyards and olive groves.
Environment, climate, environmental issues: Excellent climate, cool in the summer, enhances the sense of wellness and definitely predisposes the visitor to enter into a sacred place.
Cultural values and significance, architecture: The monastery was built in 1901 on the site of an older church dated to the Venetian period, which was incorporated into the complex. There is a holy water in this place. The religious festival of Agia Marina lasts for three days, before and after the feast day, and is one of the major ones of Greece.
Destination management: Nunnery of the Diocese of Arkalochori, Kastelli, and Viannos, Archdiocese of Crete.
Tips: the village Voni and the monastery of Agia Marina are overcrowded during the evenings of the religious festival, so try to visit the place in the morning or, better, later in the evening.
Our rating: 5/5
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