Monastery of Christ the Savior Koumpe (monastery of Sotira Christou Koumpe)

The Monastery of Christ the Savior Koumpe in Rethymno prefecture is located on the western side of the hill, right above the water spring in the area of Koumpe.

Probably built in 1550, the monastery of Christ the Savior Koumpe during the Venetian period was widely known as the Monastery of Saint John the Hermit, although it was not related to the Catholic cult of the Virgin of Erimitanon monks and was purely orthodox.

At the beginning of its operation in the mid-16th century the monastery of Christ the Savior Koumpe was male and private, since it was under the ownership of the Veveli family, after a donation made by Georgilas Klarotzane. The monastery was completely destroyed in 1646, when the Turks conquered Rethymno.

The reconstruction and reopening of the monastery took place in 1935, when Nestoras Vassalos, a well-known icon-painter, had settled there after a vision that he had while being the monk in the Dionisios monastery on Mount Athos. Since then, the monastery of Christ the Savior Koumpe has been functioning as a nunnery.

A two-nave church of the monastery is dedicated to the Transfiguration of Christ, celebrated on August 6, and the Holy John the Baptist (Timios Ioannis Prodromos), celebrated on August 29. Also, there is the small church of the Holy Unmercenaries (Agion Anargyron) Kosmas and Damianos (feast on November 1). At short distance from Rethymno, in Kavousi region in the village of Kastellos, there is a private chapel, commemorating Agios Efraim (St Ephrem) (feasts on May 5).

The nuns are mainly engaged in the art of Byzantine iconography and artistic bookbinding. Excellent examples of their work are the icons and frescoes of the main church.

The Ecclesiastical Museum of the monastery of Christ the Savior Koumpe was inaugurated in 2012 and includes the library of the late Bishop Titos Sylligardakis (1970-1987), as well as many of his memorabilia.

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