The Religious monuments of Crete


Church of Saint George Xififoros in Apodoulou
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The church of Saint George (Agios Georgios) Sword holder (Xififoros) is located in a wooded area northwest of the village Apodoulou, province Amari. The church is one-room arched-roof temple with three blind arches on each long side, symmetrically positioned on the central transverse axis. The site of the church seems to have hosted, since the Second Byzantine period (961-1204), another one-storey, small-size church, while the northern wall of a second aisle is still visible. On this wall there are three blind arches, of which the central one has been turned into the central entrance of the current temple and bears a relief bow depicting Saint George.

According to an inscription from the Archaeological Museum in Rethymnon, the frescoes of the church date from the half of the 13th century. The nickname Xififoros (Sword holder) is due to the impressive depiction of Saint George holding a sword in his right hand. The rest of the frescoes include scenes of saints in the low and the Dormition of the Theotokos, Saint Demetrius, etc. A zone with scenes from the life of Saint George and various saints follows, while in the usual evangelical circle in the arch we can distinguish the scenes of Ascension, Presentation, Transfiguration and Betrayal. The sanctuary hosts the scene of the Ascension, the Pantokrator and hierarchs holding the shroud with Christ (melismos).

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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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