A small paradise on earth with tranquility, peacefulness and devoutness for the visitor is in the Savathiana Monastery, in Rogdia. The monastery is 20 kilometers from Heraclion and, in order to visit it, you have to pass by Rogdia and follow the road sign in the settlement for the provincial road.
It was built in a wonderful place, on a mountain, between large trees, in the era of the Venetian Occupation. It is said that the monks of the monasteries by the sea had gone there in order to be protected by piracies. The name of the monastery in the years of the Venetian Occupation was “Moni toy kir Savvatiou” (i.e. the monastery of Mr. Savvatios). In the beginning, the Savathiana monastery was a male one while today nuns live in it.
During the Turkish Occupation it was destroyed and looted, as the other monasteries too, but the monks rebuilt it.
The cavernous church of Agios Antonios and Agios Savvas (with two aisles) and the Theotokos church are in the monastery. The two churches are connected with a 200-meter path in the middle of which there is a small river. A stone bridge was built in order the access to be easy.
The nuns look after the precinct of the church with such devoutness that it can be said that it is the garden of Virgin Mary, while, as you walk through the huge trees and the dense plantation, you can speak to God.
A facsimile of the icon “Megas I Kirie” by Ioannis Kornaros is kept in the monastery.