The Religious monuments of Crete

Agios Vasilios

Saint John the Theologian church at Kissos
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The church of Saint John the Theologian (Agios Ioannis Theologos) is located at the bounds of Kissos settlement, Agios Vasilios province and celebrates on September 26th. It is a small arched-roof temple of the 13th century, relatively tall compared to its other dimensions, founded on a natural rock. Impressive is the complete absence of windows in the walls, except for the sanctuary. The church was used as cemeterial, as many graves have been found outside the church.

The icons on the wood-carved iconostasis date back to 1935. The interior also hosts two layers of frescoes attributed to two different painters, many of them worn by salts or covered with mortar. The first layer belongs to a skilled local painter who used very vivid colors. From the first layer a few fragments are saved, such as the representation of the two angels, the co-officiating hierarchs before Melismus in the sanctuary, the Dormition in the lower part of the north wall, a saint on the west wall.

The newest layer dates back to the late 14th or early 15th century and features an equally capable painter. Fortunately, it survives almost intact with scenes mainly from the Christological cycle. From the second layer, we can distinguish the rare representation of the Magi Worship, the representation of "Peace Yimin" (peace unto you) and the great performance of the Second Coming.

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Additional Info

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

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