Saint Eftychios church


Saint Eftychios church at Chromonastiri
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At the entrance of the stunning village Chromonastiri, we meet a sign to Saint Eftychios (Agios Eftychios). If we follow the dirt road we arrive at the ruined settlement Perdiki Metohi. Perdiki Metohi is a typical rural village, dilapidated today, of the many we meet on Crete. The reason for the creation of the settlement was the spring of water suitable for irrigation of humans, animals and gardens. The dilapidated houses of the village are half hidden in the lush vegetation that covers the area.

This settlement would be completely unimportant unless there was the church of Saint Eftichios of Constantinople, one of the oldest churches in Crete. The church was recently restored by the Archaeological Service and is now open to the public. The temple was built in the Middle Byzantine period on the site of an earlier basilica of the 3rd AD century, parts of which were later incorporated the church. On the sides four rooms were built, so the final shape of the temple is rectangular. These make the temple the only five-space temple in Crete. This type of the church belongs to a very rare variant of compact octastyle cruciform with a dome.

The interior retains a very small part of the original frescoes of the 11th century. The frescoes indicate that the painters followed the Macedonian style from Constantinople. The floor in some places consists of pebbles despite the fact that the church is really very far from the sea. During the Turkish occupation the church was converted into a house and suffered several alterations. At that time the present entrance was added, and there was an oven which still survives.

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Additional Info

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

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