Zoodochos Pigi Church


Zoodochos Pigi Church, Alikianos
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The imposing Byzantine church of the Life-Giving Spring (Zoodohos Pigi) is located between the villages Koufos and Alikianos, at a site with many orange and lemon groves. The temple is also known as Ai Kyr Giannis (Saint Lord John) after the Saint John the Hermit or Xenos who founded it around 1030 (another temple known as Ai Kyr Giannis is located in Platanos). Saint John the Hermit had then returned from his trip to Constantinople. The temple was in ruins until 1950, when it was partially restored by Anastasios Orlandos, and was fully restored in the early 21st century.

It a simple, four columned, Helladic type, cruciform church with a dome. The same technique of construction of the dome is also found in Saint Demetrius church in Pigi and for this reason the dome of the second temple was restored according to the elements of the temple in Alikianos. Excavations inside and outside the temple have uncovered tombs from the 11th to the 19th century, while marble capitals of the 5th century have been incorporated into the walls.

The temple has frescoes in two layers (11th century and 14th century). From the first layer, medical saints have been revealed. Among the frescoes of the 14th century is Saint John the Hermit himself among his partners. The other surviving frescoes include scenes of the evangelical cycle (Ascension, Pentecost, Crucifixion) and various saints.

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Additional Info

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


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