Church of Panagia Eleousa

Potami Dam

Church of Panagia Eleousa at Potami
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Near Potami dam, province Amari, and south of village Harkia, in a lush green position with plane trees we meet the abandoned convent of Panagia Eleousa, dedicated to Zoodochos Pigi (Life Giving Spring). We can reach this point through a sign on the main road surrounding the dam. The place hosts the small church dating back to the Venetian Era and bearing some traces of frescoes.

The forgotten convent came to the foreground in 1918, when Joseph Kotsifis bought the whole area around the church. Indeed, some years later he found in the bark of a wooden piece the phrase "Panagia Eleousa". According to his testimony, the letters were written by the inflation of the timber, not by human hand, thus this was attributed to a miracle.

Moreover, once two hunters from the area of Amari drank water that (still) flows from the source located under the altar and one of them washed his paralyzed hand. After some days his hand was completely healed and this wonder was published by himself in the local press. Also, on the feast day of Zoodochos Pigi, when locals cleaned the area from the vegetation, they identified a small icon of the Virgin and since then the church celebrates on the day of Zoodochos Pigi, five days after Easter.

After these events, the insignificant church became one of the most important religious monuments of Rethymno, with testimonials for many miracles, especially treatments of skin diseases. Among these was the healing of a leper by the village Apostoli, when he washed himself shortly before departing for the leper colony of Spinalonga.


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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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