Religious Monuments of St Thomas

Kardiotissa

Panagia Kardiotissa at Agios Thomas
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The church of Panagia Kardiotissa is located at the green position Panagia, close to Agios Thomas village. It overlooks the river Axedianos and in winter wateralls are formed at the edge of the churchyard, making it a unique landscape. Next there's an old watermill in very good condition next to the Venetian bridge that still crosses the river. The watermill is one of the 15 mills of Axedianos and has been restored.

The chapel was built in the 13th century in the place of an older temple (7th century), which in turn was possibly built on the site of an ancient temple. The chapel came into foreground in 1912, when a woman saw an oracle and pointed where the icon of Saint George was buried. Due to the pilgrims arriving there, a guesthouse was built in 1915 and a few nuns stayed here in the period 1935-1962.

During the German occupation, the guesthouse hosted some locals. One of them offered later the bell tower of the church.

The deserted guesthouse and the degraded temple were restored in 1992-1994. Today the place has been very nicely landscaped with nice benches below the 600 years old oak tree and peacocks.

It is noteworthy to mention the custom of zosimo that takes place at every church of Agios Thomas. Every 2-3 year, the women of the village of Agios Thomas spin ropes and immerse it in beeswax for 7 times. Then they put the rope around the temple in order to keep evil spirit away. This is a custom that has its roots in ancient Times and takes place in spring.

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Additional Info

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

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