Zoodochos Pigi church


Panagia Vithanos church at Krotos
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The cavernous church of Panagia at Vithanos is located in a panoramic position of the Loutra Gorge, near the village of Krotos. It is dedicated to Zoodochos Pigi (Life Giving Spring) and one can still see the date 20-5-1765 above the entrance. Its present form has emerged after restoration works that took place in 1999. From the ceiling of the sanctuary drips water, which is concentrated in a marble trough and is used as a holy water.

According to tradition, a shepherd once found the icon of the Virgin Mary in a rock near Loutra. Having spread the event, the icon was moved to a church in the Mesara Plain. However, someone stole it and no one was able to find the thief. When one day the shepherd re-visited the area of Loutra, the icon was exactly at the same place. To thank Panagia (Virgin Mary) for this miracle, he decided to build a small church in the rock that he found it. However, for the construction of the church, they would have to carry water from relatively far away, which was very difficult. Therefore, Virgin Mary helped by forcing water dripping out from the bare rock. That is why the icons in the temple represent the Virgin Mary next to water.

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Additional Info

  • Location: Heraklion Prefecture
  • Type: Church
  • Accessibility: Dirt track, Walking

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