For this reason, the monastery can receive many visitors every day, since in the past, the abundance has made sure that anyone who crosses the gorge and does not stop at Sellinari monastery is haunted by bad luck. This is why, since the Middle Ages, the travelers with their animals had stopped here to take a rest.
The gorge, which runs along the slope of Mount Selena, is the natural gate from the region of Lasithi to the north coast to Heraklion.
The Sellinari Gorge has a dense vegetation and is home to many bird species and birds of prey. Also, there was the rare Cretan wild goat Kri-Kri, but nowadays it is unfortunately not more found in the area.
According to legend, a monk from Rhodes named Nikolaos was led by God to the Gorge of Sellinari, where he found an icon of St George and built a church here.
Nikolaos lived in Sellinari until his death, and was buried in a small cave which he himself had struck at the top of Mount Anavlohos.
A few years after his death a ship from Rhodes arrived in front of the coast of Crete, and the sailors were said to have been led by a brilliant star to the tomb of Nikolaos.
The sailors interpreted this as divine evidence to bring back the mortal remains of Nikolaos to Rhodes.
More photo from the monastery and gorge of Sellinari:
The Anavlohos cave is located on the east side of the gorge, directly opposite the monastery. The exact spot can be recognized at the edge of the gorge by a large cross and the cave is also accessible, but over the steep path this is not easy.
During the Ottoman rule over Crete, the Turks were said to have attacked the monastery, which is to be proved by three bullets in the ancient icon of Saint George. Since the monastery was not destroyed in this event, this has been one more miracle since then.
A stop at the beautiful monastery and in the magnificent gorge of Sellinari is recommended. The monks are considered friendly and willing to explain the history of the monastery.
The churches and buildings have been gradually built since the 20th century, while the chapel of St George dates back to the 13th century. This was originally built by Nikolaos, but now also has later made wall paintings.
In addition to a natural science museum, a modern nursing home is also operated, which was constructed on the ruins of the ancient cells of the monks.
Directions to Monastery of Sellinari
Link to map with directions:
Click here: Directions Sellinari.