Agios Fotios and Anikitos

Sellia

Agios Fotios and Anikitos Church
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In an area literally hidden in olive trees and other trees below the village Selia, province St. Basil of Rethymnon we meet the temple of Saints Fotis and Anikitos. The chapel is reached through a dirt road from Sellia village. The church is small, oblong and single-spaced and with really austere exterior. The whole temple over the years has taken a strong slope since the area has probably collapsed and so the church leans on the sides.

Its construction dates back from the years of Venetian Rule (14th century) and this is evident from the few frescoes that still adorn the north wall of the chapel. The south wall that seems today is not the initial, as it was reconstructed lately. For years the church consisted only of a wall and remained exposed to bad weather and corrosion. That is why the few surviving paintings were in poor condition till their restoration in 2016.

It is very impressive that until the restoration of the frescoes by the archaeologists in 2016, residents celebrated the temple in the memory of the Photius I of Constantinople. But the restoration revealed that this was the wrong saint, as the real honoured saints are the Saints Photios and Aniketos, the Martyrs of Nicomedia, as scenes from their suffering were revealed. Therefore, the locals will continue to celebrate the temple in honor of the Great Photios on February 6, like before, but also on 12 August in honor of real saints.

The frescoes contain scenes of the beheading of St. Aniketos, his binding on a wheel, their embrace, their stoning and dragging from horses. There are also scenes of the betrayal of Judas, Peter cutting the ear of the the high priest's slave during the arrest of Christ, the Crucifixion, the Deposition, the Lamentation of Christ and the Ascension.

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Additional Info

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

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