The Medieval Monastery of St.
Catherine, monastery dependency of St. Catherine of Sinai, is next to St.
Minas. It was founded in the 2nd Byzantine period. From the 15th until the
17th centuries, it was the centre of cultural and intellectual activity
with income sufficient to support a large monastic community. During the
Venetian times, it was home to the famous Accademia Stravaganti. Under the
Ottoman Rule, it was converted into a mosque. Nowadays, the church of St.
Catherine houses a priceless collection of Cretan icons.