The main church is dedicated to Virgin Mary and according to the inscription it seems to go back to 1864. The Monastery is much older, dating back to the 16th or 17th century; it was active up to 1900. Today the Monastery is in ruins. It has been attached to the Monastery of Aghia Irini, since 1990.
The historic monastery of Halepa is probably one of the most beautifully located monasteries in Crete - seated on the slopes of Psiloritis mountain and amongst vineyards in offers a scenic view. Except - that is is not really functioning as a monastery anymore. The main entrance to the monastery leads to the central yard. On the lintel of the entrance one can read the name of the founder Jeremias Souros and the date 1673.
The monastery has been abandoned for long time but it has revived in past years - the active construction works are ongoing and folks are flocking to enjoy the beautiful view and hospitable atmosphere of the monastery. The church built on the Eastern side of the monastery, has just recently been finished. It was under construction since 1912. At that time it had been decided to knock the old church down and build another one - larger. Yet the misfortunes of the country including Balkan wards, World War I and WW II didn't allow the normal carrying out and the completion of work. Now the unfinished grandeur of the external part of the church hides the humbleness of the old church that finally has been renovated.
The Monastery of Panaghia Halevi is situated on the way to the village Chromonastiri, some 12 kilometers far from Rethymnon at the South. More information in the book "Byzantine Churches and Monasteries of Crete" by NIkos Psilakis.
Having traveled for over 30 years, since 6 years now, I have found the whole world in one of the most fascinating and unique places on earth – Crete. It is a diverse, rich and inspiring island which even after so many years does not stop surprising me - its rich history and unique traditions, its people, the delicacies of Cretan cuisine, its landspace and its stunning nature. Here I reveal some of its secrets.
I see Crete through turquoise - pink glasses.