Saint John Church


Saint John Church at Roukani
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The church of Saint John (Agios Ioannis) is located at a wooded location amid oaks near the village Roukani at Kasteriotis range and is one of the most historical Byzantine monuments of Crete. The church dates back from the 11th-12th century and possibly operated as a monastery dedicated to Saint John the Theologian; today the church is dedicated to Saint John the Baptist.

The church belongs to the cruciform type inscribed by a dome, which was used mainly in other places of Greece, not Crete. Thus it is believed that the builders came from Constantinople and not from Crete. A one-room, vaulted chapel was later added to the south side. Today's four-column dome has been rebuilt in the 19th century.

Impressive is the heavy wooden door, while the yard hosts marble funerary inscriptions, a Roman cistern and tombs of monks in the 16th century. At this place a leaden seal was found of the Venetian period, with the name of the Archimandrite Andreas Roukanis, today exhibited in the Historical Museum of Crete. There are no frescoes surviving.

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Additional Info

  • Location: Heraklion Prefecture
  • Type: Church
  • Accessibility: Dirt track

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