The historic castle-monastery of Toplou one of the most significant and richest monasteries in Crete, is situated 6 km north from Palekastro.
It has a quadrangular shape and it's surrounded by a strong 10m high wall. Well-preserved 14th century's frescoes decorate these walls.
The history of Toplou is turbulent, hit by pirates and other enemies. After the 1821 slaughter of the monks by the Turks, the monastery was deserted until 1828. In 1866 the year of the massive Cretan revolt, the monastery was once again ravaged by the Turkish rule. Torturing and executions of monks took place in the grounds of the monastery.
Despite all the above, many works of art can be found in Toplou. A number of notable icons, among which is the icon 'Great are Thou, my Lord' painted by I. Kornaros in 1770.