Santa Kiriaki chapel


Saint Kiriaki church at Agiofarago
(2 votes)

Just below the historic Hodegetria Monastery located in the range Asterousia in South Heraklion we meet the cave church of Saint Kiriaki (Agia Kyriaki). Specifically, it is located on the eastern slope of the Gialomonochoros stream just before it enters the "gorge of the saints", Agiofarago, in the area called Kokkinos Volakas ("red rock"). Opposite the temple there is a huge rock (Volakas in the Cretan idiom) of red color which is impressive and stands out in the whole area, after which it is named. The area of Saint Kyriaki has sparse vegetation with locusts, lentisks and a few centuries-old olives that try to escape the attack from the countless goats that had turned the area into a desert.

The church of Saint Kyriaki is one of the most impressive in Crete. It has a small courtyard, while its bell tower is very simple, a small bell that has been installed in the soft limestone of the slope. There is also a small white cross.

Entering the chapel we see that it is a fairly large and spacious cave carved by human hand. We can not say with certainty whether the whole cave was a carved by humans or whether there was already a natural cave in the area, which was later enlarged by carving. The site was probably carved during the Roman occupation, when it was used as a tomb or, according to another version, as a prison. This version is reinforced by the fact that in many places on the walls of the cave we can see the carved holes-loops where the prisoners were tied and tortured with whips, as local tradition still narrates.

In the years following the Roman occupation and with the predominance of Christianity, the cave was turned into a temple by the many hermits who lived in Agiofarago. And again according to tradition the monks used the cave again and in the already existing loops on the walls they tied their bodies in order to support them not to collapse in the arduous overnight worships. The inner walls of the temple are full of various icons dedicated by the pilgrims and in the background stands a simple wooden iconostasis. Around the interior of the temple there is a stone terrace while the most impressive of all is the skylight carved in the natural rock that brought the natural sunlight into the temple, very reminiscent of the temple of Panagia Martsaliani. This skylight, which looks like a chimney, was closed with a stone slab whenever necessary to hide the existence of the cave and protect from weather

hotels booking Crete

Also read:

Download Free Premium Joomla Templates • FREE High-quality Joomla! Designs