Church of Saint John at


Church of Saint John at Panassos
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Just outside the charming village Panassos we meet the chapel of Saint John the Forerunner (Agios Ioannis Rigologos). Saint John is accessed via a rough dirt road crossing a region with ancient olive trees and strange rocks formations full of ancient carvings. The area hosts the remains of a Minoan farmhouse and ancient stone quarries. The road starts from the main road of the village and there is a sign leading to the chapel. According to tradition, the church was a monastery several centuries ago with monks. Traces of the cells have not survived, but the carved stone doorway indicates its former importance.

Beside the temple flows a small stream with water forming beautiful waterfalls. The stream forms the upper part of the river Litheos which crosses ancient Gortys and later merges with Geropotamos. The style and the doorway suggests that the church was built in the period of the Venetian rule. The interior of this very small church is very austere and the tiled roof has the weirdness that is tilted to one side, reminding a traditional Cretan house. The church was probably destroyed and restored later with this type of roof. In one window we see an embedded ancient pillar.

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Additional Info

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

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