Church of Saint George


Church of Saint George at Kamariotis
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The church of Saint George (Agios Georgios) in Kamariotis is a three-aisled basilica of the 14th century built on a rock, to which a dome narthex was added first and then a three-aisled vaulted external narthex. The large impressive church is dedicated to Saint George, Lord Christ and Saint Nicholas. It was built as a diocese church at the beginning of the 14th century, as can be seen from the construction of a synthronon with three steps in the central niche of the sanctuary, as the treaty of 1299 between the Venetians and Alexios Kallergis gave the right to establish an Orthodox bishop.

The impressive post-Gothic gate of the narthex is richly decorated, dominated by the lion of Saint Mark, the symbol of Venice, between two coats of arms of the family Kallergis, which was indeed the strongest Cretan family who had enjoyed special privileges from the Venetians. Respectively, there is a second depiction of the coat of arms on a relief double-headed eagle on the outside of the central arch of the temple. The richly decorated gate was added during the 15th century. On the west wall of the narthex there are also two double-lobed windows that were covered with murals. Internally, the aisles are separated by pointed arches, while the central aisle is covered by a pointed apse and the sides by quarter-cylindrical arses, as in other temples in the manors of Kallergis in Psiloritis. Some post-Gothic capitals are embedded in a pillar, which are tomb remains in the form of an arcosolium, possibly of the family of the founders. On the south side is the date 1629.

Restoration work of the temple in 2004 revealed excellent frescoes of the 14th century, especially in the sanctuary. The frescoes are of high quality in relation to the prevailing folk style of the rest of Crete and the many scenes of hierarchs indicate that it did function as a diocese. Co-officiating hierarchs and Melismus are depicted on the arch and the pillars. Next in the niche is the Communion of the Apostles with Judas leaving. In the eastern part of the arch there is a large representation of the Ascension, the scene "Walk, Learn" and the Touch of Thomas. In the arches of the main temple martyrs are depicted and on the west wall we see scenes of the Prophets and the fight between Jacob and the Angel.

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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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