Church of Saint Myronas

Agios Miron

Church of Saint Myron at Agios Mironas
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The village of Agios Myronas, which in ancient times was called Rafkos, was named in honor of the Archbishop of Crete (according to others, Bishop of Knossos), Saint Myron, who acted here in the 4th century. Here are hosted the tomb and the relics of Saint Myron the Cretan, which are said to smell of myrrh, and below the imposing temple there is its hermitage that has been transformed into a chapel. In the hermitage still flows holy water that is said to have appeared after a prayer to save the people of Rafkos from water scarcity. Saint Myron was attached to his family and a protector of the weak people, as he was a farmer who always helped his fellows. The love of the people was so great that they made him Bishop of Crete and he became known for his miracles.

The central church of Saint Myron is built in the center of the village of Agios Myronas and is built on the site of an early Christian basilica, from which the large arch of the sanctuary with the synthronon is preserved. After the liberation of Crete from the Arabs in 961 AD, the seat of the Diocese of Knossos was probably moved to Rafkos, where the present imposing temple was built. The architectural elements of the church date back to the 12th century.

The large temple belongs to the type of the four-column cruciform temple, inscribed with a dome. Later, a three-way splint was added that communicates with the aisles with three arched openings. During the 19th century the western wall of the narthex was replaced by a strong construction that supports the large double bell tower. Internally the surfaces of the church are covered by modern frescoes. To the southeast there is an arcosolium (burial monument) which is probably also connected to the tomb of Saint Myron and the underground hermitage.

On August 8, one of the biggest festivals in Crete takes place.

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Additional Info

  • Location: Heraklion Prefecture
  • Type: Church
  • Accessibility: Paved road

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