Religious Monuments of Crete


The monasteries that operated in Sfakia province from the First Byzantine Period till the end of the Ottoman Rule, are not entirely known, as there are no many documents surviving commemorating the monasterial map of the heroic province.

The evidence to date are limited to monasteries that flourished mainly during the Turkish occupation, which were relatively small. The most famous of these was the Monastery of Panagia Thymiani.

Church of Saint Charalambos at Sfakia

East of Sfakia, on the beach of Ammoudi, above Ammoudi we meet the church of Agios Haralambos. This is a typical cavernous chapel of the coasts and inland of Sfakia province. It is quite spaceous because it is built in a relatively large cave. The location of the cave can be accessed via a short path that starts from the beach, but there is also a road that reaches the place.


Church of Saint Paraskevi at Vouvas

In the center of the historic village Vouvas at Province Sfakia, just on the main street, we meet the centuries-old church of Agia Paraskevi. It is the oldest church of Vouvas and it was adorned by exceptional frescoes. Today only a small part of these frescoes survives. What makes this church unique in Sfakia is that it is the only one where we meet frescoes with sinners at the time of their punishment in hell.


Church of Saint Onoufrios at Komitades

It is located very close to the road and south of the village in a remote place with many caves. The small church is at the starting point of a small ravine that ends at a steep beach. The colors on the walls are white with some touches of blue in some places reminding of a Cycladic island.


Saint Nikitas Church at Fragokastelo

The Venetian church of Agios Nikitas (13th century) is located approximately 300m NE of Fragokastelo castle, on the ruins of an Early Christian Basilica of the 6th century. The walls bear frescoes from the Venetian era.


Saint George church at Kolokasia

The church of Saint George is located above the deserted village Kolokasia in province Sfakia, near Frangokastello, at the exit of the gorge Asfendou. This temple gives the current official name of the village Kolokasia, Agios Georgios.


Archangel Michael Church at Aradena

The impressive church of the Archangel Michael (celebr. November 8) on the edge of the canyon of Aradena is a cruciform church with a dome and is dated back from the 14th century, built on a former basilica of the 5-6th century that belonged to the city Aradin. It bears frescoes of the 14th centur and a mark with the date 1546.


Saint Paraskevi church at Argoules

The church of Agia Paraskevi is located southeast of the village Argoules, above the small stream that ends on the beautiful beach of Agia Marina. It is a small single - nave, arched temple that has undergone a draft and inappropriate restoration with cement, as the southern wall had collapsed and its murals were in danger.


Mary of Egypt Church at Samaria

The small single-nave arched temple of Mary of Egypt is located in the Samaria deserted settlement, inside the imposing gorge of Samaria, accessed by a short path. According to one option, the name of the Samaria Canyon derives from the corruption of the name of Osia Maria (Saint Mary). The church celebrates on April 1st, when several mountaineering clubs of Crete participate in the festival.


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