The historic Holy Monastery of Prevelis is located at the south of Rethymnon, west of the mouth of Kourtaliotis ("Great River"). It is one ofthe most famous and respected monasteries in Crete, in a lushand verdantlandscape.
The monastery comprises two separate building complexes located within1.7 kmfrom each other, the Lower (Kato) Monastery of Saint John the Baptist and the Rear (Pisso) Monastery of Saint John the Theologian.
The first complex the visitor meets coming from Rethymnon is the Lower Monastery of Saint John the Baptist, which is ruined. Located near the GreatRiver and the arched bridge in the area,it was founded during the 10th to 11th century. The monastery was previously used almost all year round, as the surrounding areas were ideal for farming and livestock. However it was abandoned as it was pillaged and destroyed repeatedly by various conquerors.
In 1941 after the Battle of Crete and the establishment of the German occupation, the monastery hosts more than 5000 soldiers of allied forces, waiting for submarines to move them to Egypt. On 25thAugust of the same year the Germans destroy the monastery and many monks are put to jail in Chania.