Religious Monuments of Crete


Church of Panagia in Lithines
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The Church of Panagia (Our Lady) in Lithines, province Sitia, is located in the center of the village. It consists of the original Byzantine church of the Dormition of Theotokos (Kimisis), which is strangely honored at the Birth of the Virgin. The temple was extended with two more aisles in the mid-20th century. The oldest aisle of Panagia Lithiniotissa is also the one that is of most interest, especially after the restoration by the 13th Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities of Lassithi. Externally it has circular decorative plates (pinakia).

Inside, the old aisle bears wall paintings of exceptional quality dating back to the 14th century. The iconographic program includes scenes from the Christological cycle and the life of Theotokos (Our Lady). The representations of Christ on the south wall and the Virgin Mary on the north wall, next to the iconostasis, serve as a pilgrimage icon.

There are very important icons on the iconostasis, such as Saint George and the Crucifixion of the 15th century. The most important one, however, is the icon of the Panagia Vrefokratousa (Our Lady with Jesus Christ infant) dating back from the second half of the 14th century, and was unveiled in 1995 under a newer layer of painting of 1714. The icon has been linked to dozens of miracles, as can be seen from many of the faithful's dedications.

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Additional Info

  • Location: Lassithi Prefecture
  • Type: Church
  • Accessibility: Paved road

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