Church of Archangel Michael

Vlahiana

Church of Archangel Michael at Vlahiana
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The church of the Archangel Michael is located at the deserted settlement of Vlachiana, near the village Avgeniki. It is double aisled temple dedicated to the Archangel Michael (November 8) and the Holy Spirit (Monday after Pentecost). Its architectural style is the result of the expansion to the west of a single nave church, probably of the 13th century, and the addition to the south of an additional aisle, which was frescoed in 1447 at the expense of the priest Michael Marmaras. The temple has decorations on the exterior side of the entrance and an ornate window at the back.

There is a tomb of the founder of Vlahiana, Georgios Vlachos, who fighted against the Turks at the side of the Cretan hero Daskalogiannis.

The temple bears frescoes of very good quality, distinguished by the pragmatic and refined performances. The figures are elegant with soft light and faces have a classic beauty and light. The features of the art reveal effect of the West Europe art.

The iconographic program includes scenes from the Christological cycle, among which the representation of Christ in front of the priests stands out, and the cycle of Michael the Archangel with five scenes which include the rare depiction, unique in Crete, of the defeat of 185,000 Assyrians by an angel. Special mention should be made of the depiction of the prophet Elijah in the desert, feeding on a crow, in front of the central pillar, and the rare composition with the depiction of a Christmas Eve hymn on the west wall.

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Additional Info

  • Location: Heraklion Prefecture
  • Type: Church
  • Peak Period: Venetian Era (1204 AD - 1669 AD)
  • Accessibility: Paved road

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