Holy Spirit Church at


Holy Spirit Church at Limnakaro
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In the center of the plateau Limnakaro we meet the temple of the Holy Spirit (Agio Pnevma). In its current form the church is two-aisled but its two aisles were built in different eras. Initially the church was cross-roofed and was dedicated to the Transfiguration of the Savior Christ (Metamorphosis), but in 1875 a second aisle was added dedicated to the Holy Spirit. Today the church is known as the Holy Spirit.

The original aisle still preserves its frescoes in contrast to the aisle of the Holy Spirit, which lacks murals. The phenomenon of the existence of murals dating to the first half of the 14th century is a mystery. The reason is that during that time the Lassithi Plateau was abandoned and living here was banned by a Venetian decree. Therefore, there are no churches in Lassithi plateau adorned with murals, as murals were a custom that was very widespread in Crete in those years. The church in Limnakaro is the only one that bears hagiographies and this makes it unique, leaving a big question unanswered by historians.

Who was there and how he managed to paint the frescoes in a forbidden area? The hagiographies of the temple were whitewashed for years but they were cleaned and preserved by archaeologists and today the visitor can admire them despite the fact that they are not preserved in very good condition. Among the representations we can distinguish figures of riding and non-riding saints, hierarchs, Christ over the Holy Table and many scenes of the evangelical cycle that adorn the walls of the temple. What stands out, however, is a representation that shows the founders of the temple holding in their hands a model of the temple. In the scene of Saint George, engraved letters from travelers of earlier times can be seen. The church has been built with limestone from the surrounding mountains and it does not have any plaster on the outside. In the small fenced yard of the Holy Spirit, we see cypresses and walnuts.

At noon on Good Friday, every year, the Epitaph service takes place and pilgrims arrive from all over Crete.

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Additional Info

  • Location: Lassithi Prefecture
  • Type: Church
  • Peak Period: Venetian Era (1204 AD - 1669 AD)
  • Accessibility: Dirt track

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