The Agarathos monastery is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and is located on a rather rocky hill between the villages of Sgourokefali and Sambas at a distance of 23 km from Heraklion. Although the time of its foundation is not ascertained, it is considered one of the oldest monasteries in Crete and it is possible that it was founded in the years of the 2nd Byzantine period. From a small monastery that was originally, in the middle of the 16th century. it begins to be fortified and acquires a fortress form, from which today the two gates and the domed buildings of the old Bordonaria are preserved. During the Venetian rule, it was a nursery of education for very important ecclesiastical men such as Kyrillos Loukaris, Meletios Pigas, Sylvesters, and Chris
It also played an important role during the years of Turkish rule as a revolutionary body was formed here that bravely resisted the conquerors. Those years were therefore a period of recession for the monastery, culminating in the revolution of 1821, when the Turks massacred the monks and set fire to the buildings. A school was founded again after 1860, while during the revolution of 1866 it became a stronghold of fighters. The temple was rebuilt in 1894 and with the end of the Turkish rule, a new period of prosperity began. In recent years, young educated monks, university graduates settled in the monastery and thus it regained its old glory.
Source: HERAKLION DISTRICT ADMINISTRATION