The Monastery of Kapsas

 

The Monastery of Kapsas, or, better, the Monastery of Aghios Ioannis Prodromos (St. John the Baptist) is situated within a rocky and wild area of magic beauty, facing the Libyan Sea, between the beaches of Makrygialos and Goudouras; it is found at a distance of 9 kilometers eastern to Makryg ialos, 32 kilometers far from Ierapetra at the East, 35 kilometers southern to Sitia and 67 kilometers southeastern to Aghios Nicolaos.

The Monastery seems to have been established in the 15 th century; up to the mid-19 th century there was still a church dedicated to Aghios Ioannis, within a cave, as well as a few cells for the monks.

After this period of time, the Monastery became famous thanks to an odd monk named Joseph, who pretended to have visions and to be able to heal incurable diseases. Due to this fame, big crowds of people arrived to the monastery, bringing votive offerings to this peculiar “saint”. This latter used all this to renovate and extend the Monastery and the cells of the monks. During 1869-1870 he called famous wood carvers and hagiographers to decorate the church. Later on, his grandson continue this task, by restoring and extending again the rest of the Monastery; also he brought water and cultivated the fields around.