Visit Kesariani

Inside the serene forest of Imittos stands Kesariani Monastery, built in
the 11th century A.D. It was named after emperor (Ceasar) Hadrian who
built an aqueduct on a nearby spring. The spring is still in the courtyard of
the monastery and the myth has it that it has fertility powers. The church
type itself is domed cruciform, with its dome resting on four ancient
marble columns of Ionic order. Thankfully its frescoes still survive, all of
which belong to the 16th century Cretan school of painting. The painting
of the Madonna holding baby Jesus contrasts beautifully with its black
background, while also quite impressive is the depiction of Christ on the
dome. Outside the monastery there are secondary buildings like the
residential quarters of the monks, an old bath-house and the kitchen. At
the southwest of the monastery lie the remains of another church dating
from the 10th century. The view from the hill is remarkable.