Religious Monuments of Crete


Saint Paraskevi church at Ambelouzos
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The church of Agia Paraskevi of Meritis is located within the boundaries of the Agricultural School of Messara at the entrance of the village of Ambelouzos. The church is the only surviving remnant of the small monastery that functioned as part of the Monastery of Saint Fanourios in Valsamonero.

The dependency is mentioned in the census of the monastery of Varsamonero in 1644, but the katholikon (main temple) dates to the end of the 13th or the beginning of the 14th century. On the side there is a part of a column, which probably comes from the nearby Ancient Gortyna. The north wall still hosts an arcosolium, i.e. a burial monument of the Venetian era.

The estates of Meritis monastery were granted in 1920 for the establishment of the Messara Agricultural School, which still operates even today. The church celebrates every year on July 26, the day that the Orthodox Church honors the memory of Saint Paraskevi, the protector of the eyes.

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Additional Info

  • Location: Heraklion Prefecture
  • Type: Church
  • Peak Period: Venetian Era (1204 AD - 1669 AD)
  • Accessibility: Paved road

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