Discovering Crete, Part 2 - Agiofárango, the Gorge of Saints II

in photography •  5 months ago

Greetings Steemians!

Welcome to the continuation of my walk through Agiofárango, the Gorge of Saints. In case you missed it, you can check out the first part -> here.

After about two thirds of the track one comes across the church of Aghios Andonios, once the region’s religious center.

At the very beginning the church was still located inside a cave, but with the increasing number of pilgrims it was gradually expanded and relocated to the open air. The church received its present appearance in the 14th or 15th century. The exact time of the final construction phase does not seem to be known.

As I had mentioned in my previous post, a large number of ascetic monks lived in the gorge's caves for centuries. Probably around 300 at peak times. It is said that the monks gathered once or twice a year, each of them taking seat on an assigned stone. A stone that was left free witnessed a death in the community.

The proximity to the sea finally became the fate of the ascetics' community, as pirate raids increasingly took place. Finally, the monks had to leave the gorge. It is said that four of them founded the monastery of Aghios Andonios, in safe distance from the sea.

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Just a few more bends through the oleander...

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...and there it is, the church Aghios Andonios. Nicely framed by rocks and blooming oleander.


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9_kapelle 2.jpg
A monumental olive tree. Some of these can live to be over 1000 years old.

Outside the church there is a well, for a long time the only source of water in the region.

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Finally, the sea!

Some made it here befor me.

Time to go for a swim.

A natural jumping platform.

Back to Kuna Muta. The hammock came just right to rest my tired legs.

I hope you enjoyed following me on my hike through Agiofárango. In the next post I will show you the fortified monastery of Odigitria!

And there will be kittens, tiny little ones, so don't miss it! :)

Thanks for watching and have a great day on Steemit!


All photos were recorded by myself with an EOS 7D / Tamron 18-270 mm in May, 2018. All rights reserved.

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Wow dieser alte Olivenbaum sieht cool aus! Er sieht aus wie ein Zauberbaum aus irgendwelchen Fantasy Geschichten/Filmen :)

Wieder ein sehr schöner Bericht und tolle Bilder!

A big thank you for promoting my country @shaka is not enough.
Your photos are very beautiful and you make a really nice presentation!


Thanks, glad to read that!


You are most welcome!

another beautiful set of pics!
#til that olive trees can actually live that long

interesting church location
is it still being used by the locals or just for the show now like some of the ones here?

beautiful sea!!!
I long for a dive!
thanks for taking us there!

I like this adventure in crete I saw your first part and I was excited because in addition you came back I had days without seeing you

I did not imagine that in that place there is a beach at first I thought it was like a kind of desert but now I see that he has everything

Agios Andonios church a very nice place I like how those rocks stand out, this was done by the monks themselves?

There is a lot of history here the olive tree something old incredible the shape of its roots and I think it makes it a better place is the proximity to the sea I like this place I hope to see the next part and I also hope some contest are exciting besides you learn a lot

Happy day @shaka

Wow what a fantastic walk that must have been. That olive tree looks absolutely ancient. So your post motivated me to do some checking. I found a photo of a similar olive tree in Crete and it has this note:

This ancient olive tree is located on the Greek island of Crete and is one of seven olive trees in the Mediterranean believed to be at least 2,000 to 3,000 years old. Although its exact age cannot be verified, the Olive Tree of Vouves might be the oldest among them, estimated at over 3,000 years old. It still produces olives, and they are highly prized. Olive trees are hardy and drought-, disease- and fire-resistant — part of the reason for their longevity and their widespread use in the region.

Nature is just amazing :-)



I was absolutely amazed by this, too. Before I didn't know that these trees can literally reach biblical age.

Wow @shaka! These pictures are breathtakingly beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing this journey with us. I can only imagine the surreal feeling of walking past that well, past the ancient olive tree, and in the church. Thinking of 300 monks in caves all around. Imagining the history embedded there, must be overwhelming. I always find that places such as this, makes me feel nostalgic about memories that aren't mine and lives lived that I had no part in. Thank you for giving us the privilege of sharing a glimpse of your experience. I am looking forward to the monastery of Odigitria, can't wait!


Thank you for you comment. I feel in a similar way when visiting such historic places and try to imagine how life once played out there.

Another amazing photo series..!

Good to see u posting the second part of ur Gorge of Saints trip... I've never been to Greece but I'm sure this country have a lot to offer to the tourists..!!
Btw, u r welcomed to Catania, Italy... We have amazing sea beaches too.. And the mighty Mt Etna is here too..!!

Good day..!

~ Christina


Thank you! In fact I would love to visit Mt Etna. Maybe I can make it there on day :)


First of all i want to appreciate your work because you shared this soulful historical Architecture and whoever visit this kind of place possibly they will not expect this kind of soulful architecture here and i really liked the interior of this Church and literally it have very ancient essence and in my opinion watching it live and experiencing this soulful essence live will be great. And great to watch the mountain and seas and i strongly believe that sea view and beach is really amazing for an vacation and we can enjoy the vacation and we can explore the beauty of nature and the greatest thing is nature's art of sunrise and in my opinion sunrise from Seaview always reflects magic and if we get an chance to explore it then that would be great and i hope that you really enjoyed this sea view and environment.

And one more thing i liked here and that is the tree which literally reflecting as so old and we can also call it as an ancient tree and it have unique formations and design.

Thanks for sharing this post with us and wishing you an great day. Stay blessed. 🙂


Welcome. 🙂

Sagenhafte Fotos einer einmaligen Natur, die Du uns da vermittelst. Vorallem diesen Baum finde ich gewaltig:

Er erinnert mich an Bäume die ich damals in Süditalien, vorallem in Sizilien gesehen habe. Einfach fantastisch dieses Wurzelspiel.

Das mit der Hängematte ist natürlich gelungen. Man ahnt welchen Genuss dir diese Reise gegeben hat.

Super cooler Bericht

Mit lieben Grüssen aus der sonnigen Karibik!
Abenteuer und Reiseberichte aus der Dominikanischen Republik.


Vielen Dank! Der Baum war tatsächlich sehr beeindruckend.

A 1000 year old tree must have been through a whole lot. Its appearance even says it all. The beach is really awesome @shaka, and the view is spectacular. It reminds me of those obtainable in the Cape of South Africa.
The monks must have been really industrious, to have come up with such a solid structure. The building looks like it is over a century old too. Thanks for sharing your travel experience.....again you showcased your skillful photographic talents with the photo shots....great piece.

Hello @shaka incredible adventure full of history knowing new places creta is an interesting place has a lot of history it is amazing to think how people lived in those places

In my country there is a place called the untigua mission long ago I made a publication about it is a place where monks lived and there is a tree called the grandfather is more than 600 years old you also find the exotic flora of venezuela many beautiful flowers brought from different countries in Today is a tourist place and there is a very beautiful risort

Your publication reminded me of this place


That sounds like an interesting place. Maybe you can share some photos from there?


This is the tree that I spoke to you more than 600 years ago in the place

Vielen Dank, daß Du uns auf Deine Reise mittels dieser schöne Fotos und Collagen, sowie der kurzweiligen Beschreibung mitnimmst.
Ein erfrischendes Bad in dieser Bucht würde mir jetzt auch gefallen. ;-)


Vielen Dank fürs stete "Mitreisen" :)


Ich verbleibe virtuell noch etwas in der wunderschönen Bucht und folge Dir dann unauffällig zum Kloster... ;-)

Wow was für unglaublich schöne Bilder. Der Baum ist wundervoll und gefällt mir auch sehr sehr gut.



Hello how are you? wow wow with these images it seems that I am in that wonderful place
The sea looks so peaceful it causes to be there the place seems magical with that ancient architecture that keeps safe legend
I love your trips I live in venezuela and this makes me travel to another place


Thank you! Glad to hear that you enjoyed the trip.

Wow! another masterpiece blog, full of nice photographs!
As you mentioned above-

The proximity to the sea finally became the fate of the ascetics' community, as pirate raids increasingly took place.

Why pirates raided monks as monks were ascetics? Did they have some wealth?
This place had a single source of water as a well. It depicts the difficult life of monks. They must have been tough people. However, scenery of this place is enchanting.


That is a good question, indeed. I suspect that over the centuries certain assets have been accumulated, for example through donations from the local population and material gifts. Especially in the church itself, valuable clerical objects may have been stored and used for the service. But that's just my guess, I haven't done any more research.

Those rock formations are amazing. I envy you. I hope you enjoyed some swim ^^

so so pretty

Nice photography. Depicts a sense of hope and a bit of nature in the unleashing desert. Clear shots. The flowers though simple look great in the desert like place. Well I am impressed by your work @shaka. Keep up the good work and sharing such posts with us.

OMG !!! The images are just mind-blowing.
You must have had great fun.
A goat again (smiles).
Great article again @shaka



Die Kirche sieht ja toll aus. Wunderschöne Bilder🤗

photograph of your post describe everything. your discover of crete is success.
the church Aghios Andonios which is Nicely framed by rocks and blooming oleander is very beautiful . the olive tree of 1000 years old is a historical part that you made. the sea and the place is really romantic and such a beautiful place. i wish i will go there one day .
i am waiting for your next post about fortified monastery of Odigitria!
thank you very much for share a beautiful discover and a beautiful nature.

These pictures are absolutely gorgeous.
The church looks beautiful and in the middle of nowhere.
And after all this photography and exploration what could be better than a swim.

Hello @shaka

Beautiful photo collections. Our world is beautiful and the nature awesome. Just look at the pictures and you will have every reason to be thankful to God. I am inspired!


@eurogee of @euronation and @steemstem communities

Hell, I'd give anything to be in that cozy and peaceful place.

The beach, the church, the heat, again the beach haha.

@shaka It's a dream what the world gives us

it causes me to bathe on a beach when I see your publication.


It causes me to
Bathe on a beach when I see
Your publication.

                 - rememberx23

I'm a bot. I detect haiku.

Super schöne Bilder!
Da sollt ich auch mal hin :-)

Danke für die Eindrücke!


Danke, gern geschehen!

A sunny place, but the panorama of the ocean made me want to swim right away. I also like the smell of the sea, sheep and trees. it's fun to imagine it.

That olive tree looks so cool archaic, love it :)


It really does, an impressive exponent of his kind.

Never seen a place this beautiful this is really great to see and explore that was an incredible experience :D

wieder sehr geiler post und spitzen Bilder. immer noch recht karg, aber es wird grüner! 😉

der strand ist ja der hammer!

Beautiful country and great writing!

Beeindruckend. Hut ab !

believe it or not i can not say in my world how much i like it.

Wow just mind-blowing photography. I love your images.

Greetings @shaka, You all pics are awesome. Reall amazing photoshoot. You framed some special photos.

a place to go on vacation and relax.

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Very beautiful all photography that my brother liked about photography that let alone about the beautiful flowers, let alone the sea looks water is very clear thank you for sharing the things I really like.

beautiful photography!!!

wow great photography

very beautiful those photo that you took

Nice place to go

Nice post my dear friend

That sea you can notice that they are crystal clear water or am I wrong?

Great are those photos you took. Congratulations

Beautiful scenery, I really want to be able to enjoy this beautiful scenery..

pbotography very beautiful and very cool friends

The tree is too old. I liked the house.

love to see this pic......just awsome..

amazing photography...the hill looking so beautiful.....i waiting for your next post....... ..... .....

Nice photography. Depicts a sense of hope and a bit of nature in the unleashing desert. Clear shots. The flowers though simple look great in the desert like place. Well I am impressed by your work @shaka. Keep up the good work and sharing such posts with us.

Good job @shaka
Amazing picture..

amazing are the photos you took and placed in your post. Greetings and blessings

@shaka your upvotes have been very helpful to growing my profile. I now have a youtube channel too!