Film info

Creator / Collector

Towards “Toplou Monastery” a road sign informs us and the cinematographer follows its pointing arrow to find his destination. The lens captures a worker in his afternoon relaxing break in the ancient windmill of the Toplou Monastery or "Panagia Akrotiriani" (Virgin Mary of the Cape) in Lassithi, Crete.

In a harsh and dry landscape, we see the fortified Toplou Monastery with the imposing bell tower 30 meters high which was built in 1558.

The lens stands for a while in the cemetery chapel of the Holy Cross and follows the cinematographer's friend as she enters from the gate to the courtyard which is full of bougainvillea flowers.

We watch her tour on the labyrinthine stairs that connect the cells, the ovens, the kitchens and the other areas of the monastery.

A monk comes out of the small sanctuary dedicated to the Nativity of the Virgin Mary and to St. John the Theologian, looking curiously at the visitor. The film closes with views of the monastery.

The main entrance of Toplou Monastery or "Megalo Monastiri” (Big Monastery) for the locals is on the west side of the monastery and its door was rolled on wheels. Above it, there is a hole called “the killer” from which hot liquid or stones were thrown at those who tried to break in. It retains the name "Toplou" from the Ottoman occupation, which means "Monastery of the arms".

The monastery hosts an interesting exhibition of Byzantine icons, ecclesiastical items and relics, relics of saints and the well-preserved frescoes dating from the 14th AD century.



Film Information

Athanasoglou Nikolaos

HD (1440x1080)



Duration (seconds)

Super 8mm