It is situated on a rocky site at an altitude of 260m, near the entrance of the gorge Avlaki and is built with fortress architecture and four towers with bastions protect its corners. The Gouverneto monastery was built before 1537, as proved by an inscription at the entrance of the fortress, being one of the oldest monasteries in Crete. It is believed that the monastery was founded by hermits and monks of the seaside Katholiko Monastery, who may built the new monastery over a pre-existing ancient temple so as to protect themselves from pirate raids.
The church of the monastery is dedicated to Virgin Mary, so it is also called Kyria ton Agelon (Lady of the Angels Monastery). It has a cruciform shape with a dome, while the entrance is decorated with relief representations of monsters. It was started being built during the Venetian Era, but the construction finished 2.5 centuries later, as the Turks invaded Crete and forbid building Christian temples.
Around the church of the monastery, which is located in the center of the courtyard, there are the other buildings of the complex. Among them are 50 monk cells in two floors, the dining room, a small museum, etc. Also, next to the church there are two chapels dedicated to Agii Deka (Saints Ten) and Saint John the Hermit.
St. John the Hermit lived in a cave in the gorge Avlaki, adjacent to the monastery, and is considered as the founder of the monastery. You can walk in Avlaki gorge by following the stone paved trail that descends to the sea. After 20 minutes of descent you will meet the Arkoudospilio Cave, and after a while the ruined monastery Katholiko and the cavernous church of St. John, where the hermit lived. After more 10 minutes, the gorge ends in a narrow rocky fjord with green waters.
Avlaki or Katholiko Gorge
It is one of the most important gorges in Crete with a particular religious value, as many monks and hermits found shelter in its caves. Inside the small canyon there is the deserted Katholiko monastery, perhaps the oldest monastery in Crete. Thus, the gorge is also called Katholiko Gorge.
And you will continue down to Stavros beach. When you come here, maybe you happen to see taverns and hotels having the naming of Zorbas, something usual in many other places of Greece. The only difference is that this is not happening by chance here, because scenes of the famous “Zorba the Greek” starring Anthony Quinn, filmed in 1964. At the beach, and against the backdrop of the hill of Stavros, the Zorba danced the famous Sirtaki, in music of a Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis.
We will hear the history of our destination until we reach.( cd player)