Church of Saint John


Church of Saint John at Asfendiles
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Asfendiles in Selino province is a small mountainous hamlet, one of the remotest in Crete. Today it has about 5 people, but in the past it was full of people and the main occupations were farming, agriculture and pottery. The name of the village is taken after the plant Daffodil (Asphodelus albus) that comes in abundance in the area. What is left today to commemorate the glorious past is the temple of Saint John (Agios Ioannis) dating back to the years of Venetian rule in Crete.

It is the cemeterial temple of the village and is located between the two neighborhoods of Asfendiles. The white church is aisleless, like most temples in the province and quite simple (outside). Only its elevated bell tower protrudes. The church's interior is richly decorated with frescoes, probably of the 14th century, which have never been restored. The result is altered colors and in several parts permanently damaged. In most paintings we see male figures, Christ, archangels and saints on horses.

Despite the lavish fresco decoration Saint John is very rarely visited. The reason is that it located among other famous churches of the same period like Saint George in Anydri, Panagia Skafidiani at Prodromi and many others which attract visitors. Apart from the paintings, we see a very beautiful wooden iconostasis. The church of St. John the Theologian celebrates on September 26

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Additional Info

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

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