Religious monuments of Crete


The province of Kydonia, i.e. the wider area of current Chania city, hosted a large number of monasteries and hermitages. Especially the isolated and inhospitable Cape Akrotiri or Melecha was home to dozen monks and hermits who lived a strict monastic life in caves and small convents, following the footsteps of Saint John the Hermit. Unlike Akrotiri, the fertile plane around Chania hosted many monasterial dependencies owing very large areas of olive groves and vineyards.

Saint Paraskevi church at Platani

At Platani near Souda we meet the small and picturesque church of Agia Paraskevi. The temple is located on a dewy location almost on the main axis of North Crete and hosts one of the most popular feasts of Chania.


Saint George Church at Alikianos

Just a short distance from the the historic Da Molin Tower ruins in Alikianos, we meet the cruciform Byzantine church of St. George. The church dates back to the 14th-15th century and bears frescoes by Pavlos Provatas (1430). This temple was used in the novel of Spiridon Zambelios "Cretan Weddings" for placing the wedding of the heroes.


Church of Saint George at Therisso

The church of Agios Georgios is located at Therisso, Chania province. It is a double-nave church dating from 1555, with the second aisle dedicated to Saint Charalambos. The walls are adorned with very interesting frescoes.


Cave of Saint Gerasimos at Modi

Two km south of the village Modi by Platanias (Chania) we meet is the cavernous chapel of St. Gerasimos. The location of this beautiful cave is accessed via dirt road that starts from Modi (there are information signs). The cave is located on a hillside that is covered by an ancient olive grove.The temple is built inside the cave, is spacious and has a courtyard along a long rock shelter.


Saint Andrew church at Malaxa

On the road that runs from Chania to Keramia, before reaching village Malaxa, we meet the small church of St. Andrew. Saint Andrew has always been a major milestone for the region because of the adjacent spring with water that quenched their thirst hikers from the region on their way to the villages of Keramia. The spring site is seen from afar due to the large plane located there.


Church of Saint George at Drakiana

In the deserted village Drakiana, near the lake of Agia and in the banks of Keritis river, we meet the small Byzantine church of Saint George (Agios Georgios Methystis) bearing traces of frescoes of the Venetian Era and hosting a grave. The church celebrates on November 3, when the barrels with wine are first opened.


Church of Saint George Apidiotis

East of Stavros, at Cape Akrotiri, starts the well marked path that crosses the small gorge of Mavre and was for many centuries the main route passing through the wild and rugged mountains of Akrotiri to link the villages of the fertile planes to the hermitages of the barren rocky mounts. This seemingly barren and inhospitable landscape was a haven for hermits and is full of hidden treasures that are not visible at first glance.


Panagia Church at Meskla

At Meskla, province Kydonia, we meet two temples dedicated to Virgin Mary, being the patron of the village. The original old church dedicated to the Conception of Mary was built on the ruins of an ancient temple of goddess Demeter. It was the main church of the village until 1972, when the largest church was built a few meters away, also dedicated to the Virgin Mary.


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